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21st Century: The Age of Distractions

This is the 21st century, and there perhaps hasn’t been a better time in history.

People live more peaceful lives and they live longer. There are so many good and bad things we can point out as the defining factor for this current generation, but none has been more impactful than technology. It has changed everything.

It has changed the cars we drive, how we communicate, and even how we live our day to day lives. Imagine sitting in the sweltering heat without a fan or an air conditioner cooling you off, then maybe you would understand just how much technology has changed our world and ingrained itself into our lives. As someone who does remote work, I am grateful for it. The opportunities it has provided, is beyond anything I could have gotten in my current environment.

But with all its benefits, there has been a lot of things that come with it, and the biggest of it has to be the distractions.

As a writer, I had to understand the hard way, that the average person on the internet had an average attention span of 8 seconds and you have to plan content with that in mind. But as a consumer of content myself, I only just got to realize what that actually meant; our brains are constantly overstimulated.

YouTube videos, YouTube shorts, Instagram reels, Snaps, games – the distractions are endless. Hours can fly by without you ever truly realizing how much time you’ve spent mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media platforms. If it doesn’t grab your attention immediately, you swipe to the next thing because you know that there is something else waiting for you.

The worst part is, you might even forget what you were watching the minute you drop your phone.

 I recently got to Level 8301 on Royal Match, one of my favorite games recently and when I reached the milestone, I was taken aback by just how much time I have dedicated to just that one thing.

When I’m reading or working, I find my hand slowly reaching back for my phone fearing that I might have missed something in the 10 minutes that I’ve been offline. I’m immediately taken out of focus by calls or emails and find it hard to get back that level of attention. And a tiny part of me knows that I am not alone.

I saw a fascinating quote somewhere that inspired this post (bear with me I don’t recall it perfectly) “The price of what you are doing now is something else that you SHOULD have done.” It resonated with me because while I was scrolling through social media and occasionally binge watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I was leaving assignments and work undone. I was risking a lot, all because I couldn’t bring myself to drop my phone.

What’s the solution?

Hell if I know!

I’m just dealing with it like every other Gen Z out there.

But I’ve learnt that a little bit of mindfulness could go a long way. Constantly reminding myself of the cost I’m paying, the hours wasting away, and the possibly impending floodgates of regret has helped me regain a bit of my focus and prioritize what pushes me towards the future I see and the life I want.

Let’s talk.

How do you deal with distractions these days? Did you ever have a moment when you realized that you needed to make a change?

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