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Are You A Scanner? January 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

Donald-Duck-BaseballScanners want to taste everything.

They’re adaptable, flexible, lightning fast learners who are curious about anything and everything they don’t already understand.

They enjoy learning about new things and translating the information to share with others.

As a result of these interests, they are excellent teachers, communicators, and educators.

Are you a Scanner?

Do you know someone who is?

Related reading: Β Refuse to Choose ~ Use All Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life of Your Dreams


1. Lisa A. Kramer - January 23, 2014

I am such a scanner, which is as much a blessing as it is a pain in the butt.

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

I expect that many bloggers fit the definition . . . we enjoy scanning the web for interesting tidbits rather than writing a tome on one area of specialization.

2. Tamina's Turn - January 23, 2014

I’ve never heard this term, scanner — those traits are familiar to me!

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

Why study a single tree (or leaf) when there’s a whole forest to explore? πŸ˜€

3. sued51 - January 23, 2014

Definitely! I think I should get the book…:-)

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

It’s been a while since I read the book . . . but I think we are encouraged to choose a “single career” and stick with it, rather than surfing through ALL of our interests.

More tomorrow on living “multiple lives.”

4. Val Boyko - January 23, 2014

That’s me! I’m a scanner. It works for me … but those around me may have a different tale to tell. I recall a time when I was in a sweetie shop with my father when I was about 8. There was SO much there I couldn’t decide what I wanted. After some time he abruptly took my hand and dragged me out of the shop vowing never to go shopping with me again!

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

Great example, Val! When I wrote on WEbook, I loved looking around at all the different projects and described it as “being a kid in a candy shop.” :mrgreen:

5. Rainee - January 23, 2014

I can relate to being a scanner in some ways – I have probably called it being ‘Jack (Jill) of all trades and a master of none’ or a generalist :-). Life is too interesting to just focus on one little bit of it!

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

I expect that’s why I enjoy your blog ~ it’s like a “box of chocolates” . . . I never know what I’m going to get.

Rainee - January 23, 2014

Thank you Nancy.

I enjoy the great variety of topics you cover as well πŸ™‚

nrhatch - January 24, 2014


6. Morgan - January 23, 2014

with your definition in mind, yes, I do believe I am a high powered, high definition, multi-function scanner πŸ™‚

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

Go you! 😎

7. Pix Under the Oaks - January 23, 2014

I do know some scanners! I had never heard this term. I don’t think I qualify as a scanner.

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

I came across the term in one of my writing files ~ the one with notes from the transition from “Law” to “Real Life.” It’s a good term I think to describe people who enjoy exploring the WHOLE forest rather than a SINGLE tree.

Pix Under the Oaks - January 23, 2014

Sometimes I kind of like the simplicity of a SINGLE tree.. πŸ˜€

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

Our innate preferences make us who we are, don’t they?

I’ve known people (especially in academia) who wanted to know EVERYTHING about ONE thing ~ e.g., the mating habits of black widow spiders. Others want to know lots about a slightly wider window ~ e.g., all SPIDERS or INSECTS or CREEPY CRAWLIES.

While others expand the window still further ~ satisfied to know a little about THIS and a little about THAT.

8. Don - January 23, 2014

I find there is a scanner in me but I tend to home in on details and become focussed on one thing. Having said that I know that I would like to nurture more of the scanner in me. Interesting Nancy.

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

When I practiced law, I was a “scanner” only within the category of “Law.” I didn’t have time to read and learn about Architecture, Art, Food, or Music . . . except if I had a case involving one of those topics.

Now I delight in bounding around sampling a bit of this, that, and the other thing. Learning just enough to satisfy my curiosity before becoming curious about something else.

Have FUN scanning the horizon for nuggets of interest, Don.

9. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 23, 2014

Funny you should ask. I wish I could say that I was, but I alas am the red-headed stepchild of a scanner – a dilettante! They can look like scanners and sound like them sometimes in limited situations, but they tend to be skimmers of material, with a very limited command of the subject at hand. Good at Jeopardy, not very good at teaching degree candidates!

It’s funny, because I was just chastising myself about that very thing I realize about myself. I need to read the second volume of some of those things I only THINK I know about! πŸ˜€

Cheers, and Hello! again. . .

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

Haha! I’m a bit of a sponge when I’m interested in a subject ~ I soak it all up and spit it back with great command and accuracy.

BUT . . . I don’t hang on to all the bits and pieces of data and dictum. Instead, I “wipe the slate clean” and move on to the next topic of interest.

It worked great as a litigation attorney. I would soak up all the facts and figures needed to go in and try a case, but those facts and figures didn’t loiter about once it was time to try the next case. One case got “flushed” as I started absorbing the next.

Hope you’re managing OK this winter, PTC.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 23, 2014

Unfortunately, dilettantes never forget – the old stuff just hangs around forever, rotting the brain until another Trivia quiz happens along. . .

I am continuing to perk along fairly well, however, Ashley, who has COPD, is ill right now. He was already on the verge of a cold when he unfortunately was next to a person at a choir rehearsal who had over-done the cologne. It kicked off a severe asthma attack, so when the cold hit him (the next day), his lungs were already compromised by that, so, poor guy. We are taking extra special care of ourselves right now, so hopefully this will iron itself out before too long.

I can’t guarantee that I will be commenting or blogging a lot in the near future, but I will try. I am managing to work on my book which is also going slow. If I get a decent page every day or two I am doing all right, but I am definitely not at the same pace, what with other things to do, and on my mind!

But hey! i have managed to comment on some sites, including yours, so I guess it is a trade-off. Ever noticed how as you grow older, the multitasking that used to be so easy is no longer so? πŸ˜€

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

I hope that Ashley is feeling better in short order, PTC. That really sounds like a one two punch that he didn’t need.

I’m glad you’re making headway with your book ~ is it poetry? or something else?

I can multitask ~ I keep breathing no matter what else is occupying my thoughts. πŸ˜›

Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 23, 2014

I don’t know Nancy – I’m not ure I’m always breathing. . .maybe I should check every once in a while! I’m still working on my memoir, “The Itinerant Life of a Pastor’s Wife.” Very tongue i cheek, but I have to make sure not to offend some of the people who will think I am writing about them. It will have a different title, and a pen name. I’m a chicken. . . But a laughing chicken, anyway! πŸ˜€

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

That’s right! At one point, I seem to remember you working on a poetry collaboration with Col. But I remember your plans for this book as well.

Don’t worry. You won’t offend some of the people some of the time. πŸ˜›

10. jannatwrites - January 23, 2014

Reading the qualities, I don’t think I’m that much of a scanner. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m curious about everything…my husband wouldn’t say I was flexible or adaptable πŸ˜›

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

I follow quite a few eclectic blogs ~ the topics are far ranging and the delivery is fascinating. I expect those bloggers are all scanners. Something grabs their attention, they learn about it, and then want to share the information with others . . . all before moving on to the next nugget of interest.

You seem quite flexible and adaptable when writing to prompts ~ and proficient and prolific as well. That doesn’t make you a scanner, necessarily, but it does make you a well written writer. πŸ˜€

11. lindalitebeing - January 23, 2014

As a person who is currently reading about 10 books simultaneously among other learning projects, I definitely qualify ( except the adaptable part , sigh) Will have to read the book, of course!

nrhatch - January 23, 2014

You’re a book juggler, for sure! πŸ˜€

lindalitebeing - January 23, 2014

maybe I can join the circus! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

There’s an idea! πŸ˜‰

12. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 23, 2014

I don’t think of myself as adaptable or flexible and certainly not a fast learner but I love to learn all kinds of new things. I think I tend to drive some people crazy with all the new stuff I am always finding on the internet. I love exploring new hobbies on Youtube or just oddball things. If I go to a hobby store or library or candy store I must look like someone who just came out of the backwoods because I get so excited over everything! I lose my mind in a bookstore. I think they should have sleepovers! And in Wal Mart I come home with a thousand more things than were ever on my list. I get completey distracted in there. Maybe I am half a scanner.

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

Go you! Living life with alert curiosity is so much better than being bored. Enthusiasm is contagious.

I’m not much on shopping, but bookstores are always a delight. I think you’ve got the right idea ~> SLEEPOVER!

13. Three Well Beings - January 24, 2014

This is a new term to me, and it’s perfect. I took the Strengthsfinder’s Test which is a tool used in business and academia. One of my top “strengths” was termed “input”–which I think fits me well. I am definitely a scanner…and I’ve been a teacher most of my life, too, so there you go. I know a little bit about a whole lot of things. LOL! Not a whole lot about any one thing. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

When I was writing this, your face (and Kate’s) flashed before my eyes. You both seem like scanners AND you’re both teachers.


14. ericjbaker - January 24, 2014

Hmmm. As a horror and sci-fi fan, the term “scanner” has a radically different meaning to me. It involves being able to make someone’s head explode simply by thinking at them. To answer your question in that context, I wish.

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

I did NOT know that about the term “scanner.” That would be a handy trick to have up your Think Tank.

ericjbaker - January 24, 2014


No doubt you will add this to your Netflix queue.

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

Absolutely . . . I’ll get right on it. πŸ˜‰

15. diannegray - January 24, 2014

I’m definitely a scanner, Nancy, and this can be a blessing and a curse! I think we should start up a ‘Scanners Anonymous’ support group πŸ˜‰

nrhatch - January 24, 2014

Sounds like we would have a GREAT group to get it going. Until something else attracted our attention anyway. πŸ˜›

16. Perfecting Motherhood - September 10, 2014

Great post and great discussion! I would think the blogosphere is full of both scanners and divers, as many blog writers focus on their favorite subject. It’s definitely part of your personality build-up. It will be interesting to see which way my kids develop (I have an idea but things could change).

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

Good point. There are bloggers who stick with a single subject ~ cooking, trains, chess. Most of the blogs I follow tend to bounce around under “loose umbrellas.”

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