What is a digital distraction?
Digital distraction is a term used to describe when a person’s ability to balance and manage time, energy and attention is hampered as a result of the overuse of electronic devices or electronic media. The ease of access to unlimited content provided by the internet has a psychoactive effect on the users. The smartphone is essentially a traveling internet portal and has accentuated these effects to a level where, after a period of time with the constant use of these gadgets people find it very difficult to take a break from them. This adversely affects the productivity and even interpersonal relationships of the people affected. These effects are termed as a digital distraction. Homeworkdoer has more information on digital distraction
What causes a digital distraction?
- Many people now are severely addicted to some of the content on the internet. This content includes but is not limited to social content and networking sites, sports content, gambling, and even pornographic content.
- Most people are over-dependent on the efficiency provided by technological devices. The manual execution of accounting activities, planning and scheduling, and other workplace or individual activities have been automated and most people only rely on these gadgets for almost all of their tasks.
- Some people special individual factors affecting them. Character disorders and esteem issues brought about by past occurrences or the background that someone may have been through are not uncommon. People affected by these issues normally have a problem with interaction and tend to go through most of their experiences through alter egos created on social media platforms.
Negative impacts of digital distraction
Digital distraction leads to a low attention span and affects the capacity to concentrate. A study shows that people who constantly go online and are on their PDAs and smartphones find it very difficult to focus at work, school and during activities that require their mental presence.
For professionals and managers, the opposite is true. Increased technological connectivity has led to them finding it difficult to disconnect from work. This impacts their social relationships at home and tips their life to work balance.
Heavy computer and mobile phone usage have been linked to sleeping difficulties and disorders. Most of these distracted individuals end up turning to sleep pills and other kinds of highly addictive medication. Other than addiction, medication would mostly have side-effects that could prove detrimental to the health of the user.
The sleep-deprived people who do not use medication often end up highly depressed, lowering their productivity, not to mention causing other mental health problems.
Digital distraction has caused a number of accidents due to mobile phone usage by distracted drivers and pedestrians.
How do you know that you are a victim of digital distraction?
If you have the constant need to always multitask then this is a red alert that you may be a victim of digital distraction. A good example is double screening and working on the computer while you are still going through social media pages.
Another big sign is when you become over-dependent on gadgets for simple tasks. When you have to use gadgets for simple mathematical calculations or tasks like note-taking then you should consider yourself socially distracted.
Technology and automation were essentially meant to simplify and provide us with simpler and faster ways to increase our productivity but when we allow ourselves to become addicted to them it becomes detrimental to productivity and personal relationships.
In summary, doctors advise that people limit the time they spend on their computers, mobile phones, and tablets to avoid addiction and overdependence. Students are HIGHLY advised to limit themselves as they are more prone to addiction and digital distraction.