Protocol: How To Pay Attention To A Virtual Lecture When The World Is On Fire

Ito, R. et al

With the current pandemic not going away anytime soon, you can bet that attending your lectures over the internet is going to be the way of things for a while. But if online lessons have one inherent flaw, it’s that the internet is also the main source of anxiety about the current situation of, essentially, everything. Here are some helpful tips to help you focus on the subject matter being discussed in class, and off the slow-motion train-wreck that is contemporary human history. 

Take plenty of notes for referral/keeping your hands busy

Writing down everything you hear not only doubles the amount of time the subject material spends in your brain, but also keeps you from doom scrolling down some pretty dark rabbit holes. You can’t fight a flamewar with a QAnon troll if you’re busy diligently taking notes.

Turn off notifications

You’d be amazed how little things like turning off notifications from apps like Facebook or the COVID tracking app can be when you’re trying to concentrate. You can always turn them back on again while being assured that if it was anything really important, the government would force a frighteningly loud klaxon to blare through your phone so you won’t miss it.

Grab some coffee at a place that doesn’t play the news

A little bit of caffeine in the morning can do wonders for your attention span. Just make sure that you don’t go to a coffee shop that has a news broadcast on the air or on a T.V. screen, or you’re guaranteed to start thinking about the most troubling story right in the middle of class. In fact, maybe it’s better to order the coffee to go just so you don’t get depressed about how different Starbucks is with all the social distancing protocols.

Make eye contact with the speaker, unless they remind you of one of the many people making the world worse

A great trick for increasing the amount of information retained during a lecture is to look your professor in the eyes. This will make it feel more like a one on one discussion and thus command more of your attention. However, this is not advised if your instructor looks like they prescribe to one of the many detrimental viewpoints that are making our society unliveable.

Exercise what little control you have over your life right now and adjust the volume on your computer.

When the planet appears towards chaos, it’s better to focus on what we can change. So go ahead and raise the volume on your computer a little bit. What’s that? You can hear the professor perfectly fine. Well, do it anyways, before your increasingly facist government puts mandatory sound limits on all non-propaganda audio listening.

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About Author

Rob Ito

Rob Ito is a Canadian satirist, comedian and writer. He has previously written for the Beaverton and appears in shows all around Toronto regularly. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @theFakeRobIto.

About Rob Ito 24 Articles
Rob Ito is a Canadian satirist, comedian and writer. He has previously written for the Beaverton and appears in shows all around Toronto regularly. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @theFakeRobIto.