What is Shiny Object Syndrome?

Normally, I would simply post a link to a wikipedia article and move on to bigger and better things.   I mean really, if you’re here reading, you probably already have some idea what Shiny Object Syndrome is (SOS for short).

But then… realistically… maybe you found yourself here because of your own SOS affliction.   One minute you’re madly searching how to bling out your retro denim jacket with the brightest rhinestones you can find and before you know it, your browser history has 1000 new entries, you haven’t ordered your stones yet and here you sit wondering “How the hell did I get here?”

Or worse yet… “Oh crap.  It happened again.   I got blinded by all the shiny things that stole my attention away.”

Yes dear reader, you may suffer from the sparkliest of afflictions:  Shiny Object Syndrome.


In a nutshell, (stay with me here) you are easily distracted by new stuff that draws your attention.  You’re always thinking “This new _____ will make me happier, wealthier, fitter, funnier, more popular… etc., etc., etc. ”

You abandon one project after another as soon as boredom sets in or as soon as it become challenging or when you think something else will be better.   You have a treadmill, a bike, an elliptical, a rower, a weight bench, several shake weights, a thigh-master, memberships to two gyms, one climbing club, an organic market co-op and yet you are still overweight as you sit in a pile of cheeseburger wrappers.

I know, I know.  “But the treadmill was too noisy and the bike made my butt sore and that rowing machine is a medieval torture device and those gyms were just too crowded and well, who hasn’t bought a thigh-master from Suzanne?”  Uh huh.

You head to work and your calendar is an unending litany of half done projects that drive your co-workers nuts but they tolerate it because when you DO finish something, it’s done right, on time with no mistakes.   It’s just a nightmare getting you to that point.


Sound familiar?


By this point… if you’re able to focus this long… you may be wondering “How to you know so much about this?”

Well friend, I too suffer SOS.   I initially thought it was just the recurrent ADD, which while a close cousin, SOS is not just a mild case of ADD/ADHD.  It is it’s own beast.  And that’s the point of the site.   A gathering place where those of us afflicted by the the syndrome can focus, learn and maybe conquer our own distractions.


Pull up a chair, visit the forums*, click around and relax.  You’re in good company.


Oh… and I should probably mention that this place is also a dumping ground for all the amazing, unfulfilled projects Al & I start and never finish. If you can learn anything from our shining examples of distraction, more power to you.









*Forums not yet installed or operational.   I got distracted.



2 thoughts on “What is Shiny Object Syndrome?

  1. There is a place in the world for happy, shiny people. Think Robin Williams or Jim Carrey. Such maniacal crazy fun! I mean honestly, they wouldn’t even have to pay me to follow either of them around. These are the people you want to go on that Disney World vacation with. The ones you invited on the commemorative B52 Road Trip. Grateful Dead Skip Year? Right on!

    Unfortunately, not many people want to work with folks (or be married) to one who can’t stay focused long enough to complete a…”SQUIRREL!” …. Ahem …thought, goal or a project. It can be infuriating and frustrating and just not much fun to always be the task master, the nag the one with the “buck stops here” around their neck.
    Wow! I am digging this blog stuff. I feel better already.

    1. You just vent away. I’d say I understand, and I think I really do, but I’m usually the one chasing the squirrel. They are just SO CUTE! And fuzzy and busy and did I say cute? They’re freaking adorable!

      What were we talking about?

      Oh yeah. Squirrels.

      No, wait.

      You’re right. It is a hell of a challenge. But, is there an upside to SOS? I know the downsides all too well. But, to be honest, I can’t speak about the experiences of the partner/spouse/coworker of the SOS afflicted. I imagine it’s a rough place to be- for all the reasons you mention.

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