Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

I can’t do anything but check my phone every 15 minutes”

By b0oua Jul 5, 2024

Take a moment to imagine, dear reader, that you are about to begin watching a movie, reading a book, or working on your computer. What is the maximum amount of time that will pass before you find yourself reaching into your pocket to retrieve your phone in order to check your alerts or open social networks in order to see what is going on? Maybe a very small number.

“I’ve lost the ability to concentrate that I used to have. At work, I am able to accomplish everything, but when I look at my mobile device, I experience some minor disconnections. Then I have a difficult time reading a book since I am unable to do it. I decided to limit the amount of time I spent on my mobile device, but in the end, I didn’t care and I would check it again every 10 minutes at the very least. This marks the beginning of the testimony of Toni, a journalist who specializes in video games and whose name has been changed, as is the case with all of the other individuals in the report, in order to protect his privacy. Toni is speaking about his attention span, which has decreased at the age of 35. “By the time I was 25 years old, I had improved my ability to concentrate, and I could watch or perform anything specific for hours on end. Doing anything like that right now is something that I find to be incredibly challenging.

It is explained by Roberto, who works as a video editor for an audiovisual production company, that he has observed something that is extremely similar and has advanced. “Although I don’t post on social media the majority of the time, I still spend a significant amount of time reading content on these platforms. Before and after TikTok was a comparison. Because it’s a well, I had to set a time limit on my use in order to make an effort to keep it under control. You never stop seeing films that you enjoy, you never have to stop thinking about anything, and you never have to look for anything. It is an unending source of entertainment. It may as well be able to read your mind in order to provide you with what you desire. This is a very addictive activity.” At the age of 28, he is.

Sara, a technical writer who is 36 years old, has a narrative that is remarkably similar to this one. “On January 1, 2021, I made one of my New Year’s resolutions public in order to acquire a better handle on dealing with this situation. My efforts to eliminate the things that distract me have been a crusade. Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have caused me a great deal of annoyance because I am extremely easily sidetracked by them. I’ve made some headway, yet I still experience setbacks. I have a very long way to go before I do.”

These testimonials are readily available in our immediate environment as soon as we spend a couple of minutes discussing the capacity to maintain our focus on something, particularly when we are away from the screen of our mobile device. When we begin by acknowledging it to ourselves, it frequently provides others with the opportunity to remove their mask and acknowledge it as well. Every ten or fifteen minutes, if we have the least opportunity to do so, we check our mobile device. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is a good moment to do so. Our attention is diverted far too frequently. A lot of things can cause us to become bored.

In the event that it occurs to a large number of people, there must be a reason behind it. since explained by Silvia Álava, a psychologist, the issue is in the manner in which screens are constructed, since they aim to catch the maximum amount of our attention with the least amount of effort on our part. Whether you are reading a book or engaging in any other activity, you are required to engage in the process of continuous attention. On a visual and aural level, the stimuli change quite a bit when you stare at a screen since it does it on its own. When compared to the speed at which things move in the actual world, everything goes at such a rapid pace that it appears monotonous and slow. The origin of activities such as watching films or listening to audio at a speed of two times is found here. Because you are not overstimulated in the actual world, you experience boredom; it is up to you to keep your attention on the important things.

Roberto referred to TikTok as the defining moment in the conversation. There’s no chance involved. “TikTok is the perfect example: extremely brief videos that are designed to interest users, and they continue to evolve over time. It is a stimulus device. Silvia argues that because they are aware of the neuropsychological mechanisms that are responsible for attention, they are able to successfully trap us. According to the psychologist, this has an impact on our day-to-day lives: we are so accustomed to quick information and immediate stimuli that we become bored when we watch lengthy productions such as a movie if there is no action from the very first minute.

Three of the four people who were interviewed are in agreement that these distractions have an impact on their work. The number of dramatic scenarios is higher than they would want, despite the fact that there are no dramatic situations. Although no one has been terminated as a result of this, they do have a tendency to put in more hours than they should in order to make up for these lapses in performance or to extend the deadlines until the deadline is finally established. It is really challenging for me to maintain my concentration for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Whenever there is no other choice and you are required to answer yes in every possible way because you have no other options. “The rest of the time, you are eating snacks, taking breaks, and attempting to keep yourself busy with something that does not require a great deal of effort,” adds Roberto.

“Even when I’m in the middle of a business meeting, discussing something with my coworkers, I find that I become sidetracked. It wasn’t until a few years back that it appeared in my life,” explains Sara. “Another thing that I have observed is that I do not take pleasure in my spare time as much as I used to. She continues, “I don’t know how to manage it because I feel the need to look at my phone, and as a result, I waste a lot of time doing that instead of doing what I really want to do.” She goes on to say that there are boundaries that she does not cross, such as when she is at the movie theater. “There are people who are incapable of watching a film for two hours without checking their phone and disturbing others with the light, I definitely don’t do that.”

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