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When Distraction is the Norm
Yesterday I read about a little program called Freedom that forces you to disconnect from the Internet.
You set a timer to the desired amount of “offline time” and then you’re unable to connect until the timer runs out or you reboot your computer. (This is supposed to make cheating more difficult)
A question that many people have: Why should I buy a software that blocks me from the Internet?
Normally, we buy software or apps to extend the functionality of our devices. But programs like Freedom show a different trend.
The reason for this is simple: Being connected non-stop is advertised as improving productivity, while in fact, the opposite is the case.
How many people are sitting in their offices right now and checking their Facebook instead of working on their assigment? Children watching Southpark under their desks in school. Managers playing with their iPads in tedious meetings.
The truth is that focused concentration is harder and harder to come by in an age of limitless distraction.
A program like “Freedom” reflects our helplessness. We don’t know what to do anymore.
We need somebody like Mom & Dad who used to shut off the TV whenever it was getting to much.
Is it really that bad?
Here’s something to consider: We tend to compare the way people worked in the past with present time and see a lack of concentration. Maybe, our concentration skills themselves are evolving? This is not to say that mindless multi-tasking and idle click-frenzies ought to be encouraged. But, maybe – what we are looking for is not to be found because it is changing?
Instead of feeling bad about being distracted, try to observe what all of it is doing to you. Maybe you’ll discover positive aspects, as well.
And, instead of believing that you are really helpless and need a few lines of code to discipline idle brain cells, do yourself a favor and reclaim control by eliminating distractions successively. This could mean that you set yourself different modes, one in which you write (and all Social Media and Email apps are off) and another one in which you close all projects you’re working on and focus solely on exchanging information and communicating to friends and family.
It’s not that difficult, really.
But it takes some effort on our own.
Believing that another piece of technology can cure us from an over-obsession with technology is just stupid.