Devices and Distractions

With the proliferation of devices nowadays, social, personal, business, etc. behavior has changed.

Mobile Devices blog

It used to be rude to interrupt a conversation by doing something else; nowadays it is perfectly normal to make a phone-call and talk or text in the middle of a conversation.
This problem is bigger in India, where voicemail is not available, and people feel the urge to accept a phone-call because the caller pays for it as opposed to going through your phone-calls later and calling those folks; that would be on the caller’s dime.

People nowadays think they can use their phone and do another task viz. all this is multitasking and neuroscience proves the brain cannot multitask; it can only do one task at a time, so that is what it does. In software there is a term for it called time-slicing, which is rapidly switching from 1 task to another to stimulate multi-tasking. So, it involves context-switching for one to get back to the task they were doing originally. This switching burns up glycogen (burns up energy in the brain), and so it is not recommended to multitask but to focus and to complete the task at hand.
Some neuroscientists say that it takes 20 minutes to get back (properly) to the task that you were doing.

Another factor is that people are distracted by social media, and are constantly using their device. Care needs to be taken to define what “using” means. Playing music or a podcast is not “using” as such, but texting or playing a game is.

Devices are a tool to help us to do what we are doing, but nowadays humans have become tools and social media kind of controls them.

People constantly need external input and stimulation, and they need to be comfortable with being alone and by themselves.
Spiritual reasons aside, this will happen to you in your old age, so it is better to practice this now.

A good exercise is to keep your phone or whatever device away from you for some time. People tend to get restless when this happens.

My recommendation to you is to decide what you want to do and use tools like social media to make it more efficient. Maybe, you need to promote your idea and social media is good for that.

It is but natural to want to know what friends and family are doing, so it is impossible to stay off of social media, but do not get carried away by it where you get more interested in other’s lives when your own life just passes you by.


About Ra

Software Engineer (worked in corporations to healthcare start-ups), Geek, Musician, Artist, Fellow Human - living in the covergence space of healthcare, software, interaction design, the quantified self and genetics, music and spirituality
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