The Pros and Cons of Digital Distraction

Aside from realizing you have the attention span of a flea, there are genuine risks and worries about the distraction bombardment of everyday life. There is overwhelming evidence that suggests heavy internet use, use of smart devices, video games, and social media affect the brain in negative ways. Studies suggest that this technology interferes with the brain’s natural functions and can even alter the brain, affecting our ability to read, listen, reason, and relate to other people.

Already, the vast amount of information also affects us negatively. Our devices put us in a state of “partial attention” where we mix virtual with real social interactions. For example, you might text while talking to friends or check social media during a meeting. Many organizations, as a result, have banned laptops, cell phones and other devices during work or certain parts of the workday.

There is also evidence that suggests our shortened attention span forces us to find ways to work smarter. One way it does this is by forcing you to multi-task or at least give you the impression you are multi-tasking. Please note that while working on multiple tasks at one time, the quality of the results may decline due to your focus spread across multiple tasks. We will cover why working on single tasks is actually better in Module 2.

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