Summary Of Sam Anderson's In Defense Of Distraction

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Sam Anderson’s piece “In Defense of Distraction” was published into the New York Magazine in 2009. Anderson wanted to evoke from the readers a feeling of security that distraction can be a “trait” that does not have to be discouraged. Although many people perceive distraction as an impediment to progress and innovation, Anderson argues the contrary as he exemplifies how diversion from focus actually is a prerequisite for creativity. To demonstrate how distraction benefits growth, Anderson aims to convince his readers through his playful and sanguine, yet still an enlightening and informative tone for his reasoning behind his assertions by validating it through his word choice and scientific evidence. Distraction is a necessary “evil” for society to move forward and craft original and unique ideas for the future. Throughout his essay, Anderson’s tone commits a fluctuating change between caution and optimism. At the beginning of the piece, Anderson’s word choice towards attention is immensely negative. He defines the problem of attention with illustrative jargon like, “diagnose,” “fetishize,” “lament,” and “hunt,” (Anderson). The counter-argument, or in this case counter-vocabulary, that Anderson provides shows how society view attention as an “illness” that needs a diagnoses. Anderson tone especially seems adverse from what his true argument is. Furthermore, Anderson continues his contradicting tone against attention by stating that: When forced to multitask, the overloaded

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