Distraction Syndrome

Us humans, you and I are very impatient beings. Our brains more so than our bodies.
Every moment our brains are filled with a variety of thoughts, emotions, ambitions and fears, most of us have hardly any control over these. Only when we are occupied with something that we really care about do we find some amount of focus. We constantly seek distractions and we find it hard to keep our brains satisfied – we need to watch a film while we eat even when the film isn’t interesting, we need to browse social media while in the toilet or during transit even though we don’t expect to see anything novel, we like to go to YouTube whenever we get a chance and watch random videos. The distractions are plenty and the capacity of our brains to demand stimulus endless. We are consumers of content.

By giving into these impulses we miss out on important things –

Firstly, physical communication and by extension relationships. We miss out or neglect opportunities of meeting loved ones because we can communicate online. We also miss out on random encounters and making friends because even when we’re in a social situation we are glued to our phones or because we prefer using GPS instead of asking people for directions. Little points of contact that might lead to more interesting scenarios are lost.

Secondly, the process of assimilation is lost. We have a huge amount of incoming knowledge but hardly any patience to actually think about and digest what we hear or see. We consume a mix of useful information, random facts, emotional stimulus and false news/propaganda. Our brains tend to treat all of these equally because we’ve given them equal time and attention. But by not taking time to understand and assess these things on our own, we tend to muddle things up and our opinions/perspectives are deeply effected.

Thirdly, the ability to idle away time is lost. In other words the ability to contemplate, to think things out, to debate and generate ideas gets impaired. On the internet one can Google how to do anything and everything is spoon fed, we are never required to struggle to figure things out. All the perspective that we have is copied or adapted from things that we see and read from other sources without much thought or input of our own, we not only lack this realization but also defend our opinions and ideas with zeal and aggression that goes further into cementing the originality of these ideas and opinions in our minds.

We could argue that this kind of lifestyle isn’t bad at all, information and the internet makes things a lot more easier. Contemplation, assimilation and relationships on the other hand are not easy, we could use some help. Creativity isn’t holy and the internet is a creative place even (to some extent) for consumers. If you’ve thought about it and decided to find stimulation then I hope you find some great content! otherwise sitting idle isn’t so bad either – to each his own.

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