Although we think of our screens as productivity tools, they actually undermine the serial focus that’s the essence of true productivity.
The trend in mobile networking is constantly growing and many people confess that without a smartphone they feel like they’re an island and worry that someone is looking for them or that they’re missing out.
No wonder, really, since the ideal is to be as connected as possible. The goal is no longer to be in touch but to erase the possibility of ever being out of touch. Why talk to one friend (who happens to be in front of you) if you can simultaneously chat to five (who aren’t)? The result of that philosophy is answering work emails in bed, instant messaging people on BlackBerry Messenger or What’s App while ignoring your friends at a party, and leaving no time to develop your relationships and life.
We are more connected, but not better connected. We miss out on the quality of awareness, feeling, or understanding that comes when we truly engage with some aspect of our life experience. We miss out on the silence after a phone call, when you contemplate what was discussed. On engaging with a friend, eye to eye, and not constantly breaking contact to check your screen.
The promise is of infinite knowledge, but what’s delivered is infinite information.
We think having several tabs open on our browsers is the result of a productive mind, but the truth is that trying to multitask often means that we do more tasks less efficiently. Brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.
Digital detox is catching on. Some hotels in the USA offer digital detox packages, where your phone is confiscated at the door and you are handed a board game instead, and Apple users can download an app called ‘Freedom’ that blocks your internet access.
In a world where everything is instant and digital, we have to remind ourselves, and also teach our kids, to be real.
Digital Detox Rules
- 1. Log out.
Turn off your internet connection! If it’s not worth a phone call, it’s not worth it.
- 2. Dumb phones only.
Switch off that Smartphone with its plethora of distractions.
- 3. No instant messaging.
How often do you see a table of people all staring at their screens, chatting to people far away, but ignoring each other?
- 4. Set a time limit.
And stick to it. Whether it’s one hour, one dinner, one weekend or one holiday.
- 5. TV is okay.
This is a detox from connectedness, not entertainment.
Source: EverydayMe Arabia