Humans seek breaks.
I was recently listening to a podcast which stated that social media companies intentionally reduce the breaks in information because as humans we seek breaks. It made me think that television programmes have breaks, books have chapters but social media is an endless scroll of huge amounts of information.
Who owns who?
The penny dropped, I started to eye my own phone with suspicion. This small but prominent member of my family had been dictating when I should respond to emails, look at photos of my friends on holiday, or consider who had liked my tweets and, and, and so many notifications which all appeared to require me to respond there and then. Before you know the habit of picking up your phone every time it buzzes, or chimes is deeply ingrained and will take conscious effort to break.
Learning to focus.
These interruptions would then disrupt whatever task I was focused on but that’s ok isn’t it? That’s multitasking which is a good thing right? Wrong. Multitasking can be good, achieving more than one task well at one time can be super productive but urge caution; multitasking when attempting to produce a quality piece of text or read an important report will simply result in errors and constantly losing the thread. The more we condition our brains to flit from one activity to another the harder it is to focus.
Back in control
Enough was enough! I missed my old brain power and decided to turn the tables on my phone. I removed all social media from the homepage meaning I chose when to log in and look at it via my browser or my laptop. After a week I realised I wasn’t missing out on much as I thought. I began seeking out specific people on social media rather than just scrolling through acquaintances and past interests. My ability to focus, especially on text, has improved which is a relief and comforting to know although our brains may have adapted and bent to the will of technology, they can re-adapt to enjoy a good old paperback once again.