Sunday, December 12, 2010, AM | Leave Comment
You can say that the age of information that has been upon us is the age of curiosity. But because we always strive for information in the strangest places we can find, it can be considered the age of distraction.
Case in point: texting and talking on the cell phone while driving. It definitely is a distraction when middle and high school students send texts while the teacher is giving her lesson to the class.
Humans have always been distracted throughout the ages of known history. But never have the distractions been so voluminous, and so overwhelming as they are now.
We hear ourselves and the kids on our cell phones even at the dinner table and the talk sometimes is so intense and so persistent that I wonder how we are able to digest our food.
Even up until ten years ago, the most you could be distracted with was the ringing phone while sitting down for family dinner.
Now it’s the laptop, smart phone, endless email notifications, talking and typing inside your favorite chat room.
Then there’s the addicting lure of the browser that acts like a black hole.
Once it attracts us inside, it’s almost impossible to escape its powerful gravitational force.
We try to leave but we always wish to click one more time.
It’s not just a wish but we actually perform the task of clicking. It remains just a “wish” to escape.
There are unlimited opportunities for shopping, for chatting with other people, for gossip and news and lurid photos and so much more.
All the while, several new emails have come in, new phone calls have to be answered and waiting for a quick response.
Several programs in our favorite browser are open at once, each of them with tasks to complete.
Several people would like to chat, dividing our attention even further.
If all of this is done for the purpose of dealing in your business, then it’s all for the better.
But when kids do what business people ought to be doing, then it is distraction from their studies and classes at best and failing the subjects at worst.
Unprecedented and Alarming
When we come home from work, we bring with us reading material – in paper form or on the mobile device – to keep our attention occupied but distracted from our family.
We are bombarded, left and right, by advertising, asking for not only attention but our desires.
We get home, and there is the television, constantly blaring, with 500 channels all asking for yet more attention, with their endless ads asking for yet more desires.
There are kids, spouses, and roommates or friends we must attend to.
There is the constant ringing home phone, and still the mobile device is going off that needs to be answered.
We just evolved into these distraction not realizing what we were getting into. We knew that the Internet and its side effects – email, chat rooms, reading, Facebook, Twitter and just simply clicking needlessly – were proliferating. We were and still are definitely excited about it.
On a positive note, the opportunities offered by this online world are quite a good thing.
However, we didn’t realize how much the constant distractions, the erosion of our free time and our ability to live with a moderate amount of peace would change our lives so profoundly.
I am sure for many the distraction is good if they are in the business of making money. They can take advantage of as many distractions as they can. For them, it can be opportunities.
But for others, especially students missing their lectures and study at a minimum and failing at worst, personal technology can be distraction of the utmost.
Whether it’s distraction or not, it’s time we paid attention to it.
In a Nutshell
I hope the distractions of modern personal technology will not distract us from communicating constructively with our family members, friends and socializing with our colleagues, face to face.
At work, we ought not confine to our 10-by-10 cubicles but get out and mingle with our coworkers.Facebook.com/doable.finance