Benjamin in his work on the reproducibility of art distinguishes between Sammlung (collection, concentration) and Zerstreuung (dispersion, distraction). He claims that historically art has been for few collectors and new art work (like film) is for the distraction of the masses. We could see this as an elitist view of art, but there is not much judgement. There is a religious sphere in art (contemplation, ritual).
Related to concentration we have attention, attention is a way of paying for content. We can be attention seekers. There is an economy of attention, it is limited. Constant attention to many things over a long time destroys our attention ability, it becomes flat. Media requires constant attention to get paid for eyeball counts via advertising. Ubiquitous media is a Zerstreuungsmaschine. Aufmerksamkeit (attention, courtesy) has merken in its root, merken is about remembering. If we outlay the memory to technology, we also lose the ability to pay attention. Aufmerksamkeit is also a form of kindness. We step away from reflection and just absorb.

We live in the dictatorship of the narrative. There is a whole philosophical debate about psychological Narrative, ethical Narrative and the Self (see Strawson). From the oral story tellers, to the novelists, to the TV dramas, to the social (Snapchat) and traditional media stories – story is everywhere. A mediated world creates more stories.

But it’s too much, story means simplification, means extraction of what could appeal to others – what they might understand. It’s a judgment on the listener or reader. Stories are abundant in our attention seeking world. But they are hardly new, too many templates. Stories get recycled and retold.

Every book cover comes with a story about the author (difficult childhood etc). Even in the business world, employees in large corporations tell stories so they stand out – emulating conviction and passion. Business consulting also adepts stories, how to capture the mind of the CEO so he will go away and remember. Politics has long used the story to persuade the electorate. The truth doesn’t matter, but the timely appeal of the political narrative does.

Resist the urge to tell stories, just describe the chaotic nature of the ever changing facts. Don’t let the story you have told others and yourself, hold you back.