Why I’m not a fan of the Age of Information
It is the Age of Information, but it can be easily called as the Age of Distraction too.
Although the human world has always been full of activity and distractions, they have never been as incessant as they are now.
Aside from busy phones, people have to contend with email and social media notifications, open browser tabs, and beeping mobile phones. Even if access to information is beneficial, it also means dividing your attention among several things, forcing you to multitask to deal with everything.
At work, with all the emails flooding in, requiring an immediate response, the desk on the phone ringing nonstop from clients and partners alike, the reading materials from gadgets and paper sources.
When you get home, you’ll have to scan through 500 channels on TV, with 500,000 million ads screaming for your attention. The computer is on, where additional work is waiting, social networks are busy with notifications, people are texting or calling, and kids or partners are seeking your attention.
Although it’s a good thing that the Internet is growing and that everyone seems connected, everyone seems to be running out of free time too fast.
Engaging in online activities seems to have become addictive because of the instant positive feedback that it brings. It makes you feel good to receive an email, get Facebook likes, or see retweets. But these things only end up eating a lot of your time.
Being connected also seems to be naturally growing as a part of a lifestyle. You have to be connected anytime, anywhere, at home, in the car, at work, and on the train. But everyone needs to control this new sense of connection to avoid excessive distractions.
And when you do decide to disconnect, the society might not allow it. Yes, some people might applaud you for doing something different, but more people will likely feel indignant or offended, thinking that you’ve become too arrogant or that you don’t like what they’re doing for staying connected.
To test your tendency to be distracted, how many times did you stop reading this portion of the article to do other things? to check an email? to give in to a visual or audio distraction? to talk to other people?
In a world free of distractions, you would have answered “zero” to all these questions, but the real world really is full of distractions of all kinds.