In any given lecture, heck in almost any scenario, I am on my phone. I am on my laptop, or I am on both with the television in the background. My mind is wandering and so are my fingers as I scroll, refresh and type, doing everything apart from the one thing I am supposed to be doing: listening to Kate and Sue talking about paying attention (sorry!).
Just because of who I am, and how my brain works, I just can’t pay attention to one singular event for more than a selective period of time. It reminds me of Restless Leg Syndrome, but it’s Restless Technology Syndrome. You present me with the distractions, I cannot say no, I will dive in impulsively 100% and tune out for the rest of the hour.
It’s an addictive repetition, refreshing social media, reading the news, chatting to people, it’s why we can be so captivated in it, as it will constantly change and update- new material is always at our fingertips. To answer a thought that pops into your head, that one would normally let simmer or let go, goes answered in a matter of seconds it takes to type it into Google. Instant gratification is a nasty addiction, just look at my online shopping habits. Feeling like we accomplished more from the little tasks than sitting patiently to complete the bigger ones. This really was a great read about our attention spans with technology, though. It was incredibly right, our TV is the most common participant in multi screen worlds. It is our common practice, or at least mine, to be scrolling through Twitter on the Bachelorette hashtag as we watch it simultaneously (Lovely graphics too, held my attention well…surprisingly).
Other worlds can be glimpsed at through the screens, as our presence bleeds into wherever our screen is going. Half of my brain is talking to my friend in Texas about our tv show while the lecture goes on around me. I barely wrote down three things during that lecture because I was too preoccupied in being the epitome of what Sue and Kate were preaching.
I seem to have my priorities confused. I am compelled to constantly refresh and check and load webpages because I feel as though I am missing out. The anxiety that builds up until it reaches breaking point and I must get that temporary relief, to satiate my qualms of missing out on what is happening in the cyber world. Yet I’m blind to what I’m missing in the lecture, to my peripheral world that has faded into nothingness. I barely realised the lecture was coming to an end.
I can tell my need for the gratification of digital screens is growing, when I cannot go an entire shift at work without at least checking the time on my phone, secretly hoping for new notifications. Yet, I’ve never felt a need to be concerned, at least not yet. Yes I could probably be crowned Queen Square Eyes, but I will humbly accept my royal title. Because I enjoy it, I do not see the harm in having one eye on the screen the other on your direct habitat. One area perhaps in need of moderation or elimination however, is texting while walking.