Are you one of those people who can’t go without their phones for an hour? Do you constantly find yourself checking your phone? Are you easily distracted by notifications and the next thing you know, you’ve been scrolling on your phone for hours?
We now inhabit a world that is increasingly becoming more and more digital. It seems like everything we need and want can be obtained or accomplished with just a few taps and clicks. This is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of technology to us- only next to the amount of time it affords us. Ironically, the very same gifts of time and convenience are also mindlessly spent through various digital distractions.
What Are Digital Distractions?
In essence, digital distraction encompasses all forms of distraction brought about by electronic devices and media that break one’s concentration from the task(s) at hand. If you constantly check your phone during class, work hours, or social events, then there’s a high chance you are digitally distracted.
Digital distraction can disrupt anyone’s concentration in various settings. For instance, you’re in a class and glance at your phone to supposedly check the time but end up scrolling through social media; hence, you end up not getting any of the things discussed in class. This could also happen in the workplace; let’s say you keep on checking the internet for cute cat videos instead of finishing your tasks causing a work backlog.
Digital distraction can also happen at home, during your personal time. After all, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you don’t have stuff to do. Digital distractions can be managed if nipped in the bud. If, however, you let things go too far bordering on digital addiction, then digital distraction can lead to several issues.
What Are The Main Culprits?
Overall, the main culprit would have to be the digital devices that have become very accessible. A close second, or even a tie, would have to be the internet which allows people to do virtually anything. This is not to say that the internet or the various digital devices readily available do not bring any benefits. Those two certainly bring much to the table especially in accomplishing various tasks.
Out of the digital device and internet tandem, however, were also born various digital distractions. On this end, we could also say the media platform developers, mobile device manufacturers, content creators and generators, and even the users are at fault to some extent. Users, in particular, should take the brunt of the blame since they are the ones who manage (or mismanage) their use of digital devices and media platforms.
Focusing on various digital distractions, here are some of the main or most common ones.
- Text Messaging Distractions
Text messaging is one of the most basic things and main uses of cell phones. In fact, teens and young adults prefer texting to making phone calls. Also, since it’s easy enough to conceal your phone while texting, it could easily become a habit when you should be doing something more important, like paying attention in class or listening during a meeting.
- Social Media Distractions
Almost everyone, if not everyone, has social media accounts. Some are even active on multiple social media platforms. Just imagine how much time one would spend scrolling through, posting updates, answering comments and messages, and doing other things on multiple social media accounts.
Social media can distract someone from finishing homework, submitting outputs, and the like, which is becoming increasingly common. Parents, teachers, and employers often point out that social media greatly distracts people from focusing on the work at hand.
- Streaming Distractions
Streaming is closely related to social media. This is especially so since various social media platforms have enabled live streaming for their users. Streaming, however, is much broader than that. It covers the streaming of videos, movies, and other media content. Streaming becomes a great distraction when someone gets too caught up with a particular show, series, or content that they’d spend most of their hours, even days, doing so.
- Gaming Distractions
Yet another rampant form of digital distraction is gaming-related. This covers everything from watching or conducting live streams down to the actual video gaming. While gaming could be a relaxing way to break free from stress, it could also easily spiral into becoming a great distraction that could hinder someone from being productive. Moreover, when gone unchecked, it could become an addiction that could breed various physical and mental health issues.
How To Reduce Your Digital Distractions
Digital distractions are all around us. They are something we have to deal with as everything becomes increasingly digital. It is, therefore, up to you to manage how you deal with such distractions and whether they affect your overall productivity.
Here are some ways to reduce digital distractions and their impact on your life.
- Remove Distractions
This is certainly easier said than done; still, it’s something you must make a conscious effort to do. There are several ways to accomplish this including keeping your phone in a bag, limiting internet use, turning off the phone while doing an important task, turning off notifications for particular apps, turning off unnecessary websites while working, and other similar steps.
- Set A Schedule or Timetable
Incorporate your digital device use when planning your day or making your to-do list. For instance, you can set particular hours when you should check emails and other messages. You can utilize alarms or even apps to monitor your phone and/or social media use.
- Make Yourself Accountable
It is easier to stick to a plan or keep your eyes on your goal by making yourself accountable by asking someone to keep you in check. Take note that it should be someone who won’t be lenient on you.
- Turn Distractions into Rewards
Another strategy you can try is to make distractions as a reward for accomplishing particular tasks. For instance, you can play one round of your game after finishing your homework.
- Motivate Yourself to Stay Focused
Keep your sights on your goals and always remember your “Whys”, write them down if necessary. You can go back to these whenever you feel like you are being pulled away by digital distractions from the task at hand.