“You start to see kind of hands twitching and legs shaking …”
These, the words of Kliff Kingsbury — current National Football League, and former college football, head coach — describing what happens when the players he is in charge of are asked to sit through a meeting for more than 20 minutes.
Thus, he has decided to insert “cellphone breaks” into the work day every 20 or 30 minutes, so his players can “get that social media fix,” and he can avoid having to watch the digital version of cocaine withdrawal.
I thought about this today, as two professional basketball players scrolled through a phone on the bench during a playoff game.
I don’t want to be an old man shaking his fist at a cloud, muttering about ‘the kids these days.’ All I’m saying is, if people who get paid to play a game can’t focus on said game for more than 20 minutes at a time, what chance do the rest of us have?
I suppose we should all try to learn from Kliff Kingsbury, rather than fight in vain against the inevitable march of history. There is certainly something to be learned for a writer, someone who deals in long-form thought and word — how does one create content for an audience increasingly without attention span?
There must also be some sort of lesson to be learned politically from Kingsbury, something for those who seek to lead, or facilitate, an informed electorate and political system. What, might not yet be totally clear, but it seems crucial.
Without learning this lesson or attention span, we have gotten into some trouble. After all, what’s more concise than hatred?