One which may be having adverse effects on the structure of the brain. It is imperative that we become aware of the signs and changes in our thinking and behaviours to mitigate potential concerns, before irreversible damage is done. These changes become even more critical in our children.
Science is proving that the result of multitasking, heavy multimedia usage and our world of ubiquitous distractions is having a negative impact on thinking, decision making and relationships in the workplace and in family homes.
It is at our peril that we ignore the evidence and merely accept the velocity of our professional worlds and demanding lifestyles. We have to cease normalising and enabling the overuse of devices, especially violent video games for our young.
What do the tech gurus know that we don’t?
A former Facebook engineer who originally designed the “Like” button 10 years ago took a radical step. When Justin Rosenstein bought a new iPhone in 2017 he told his assistant to set up parental-control on his new device to stop him from downloading any apps. Why do you think he did this?
Rosenstein is part of a swelling group of talented tech insiders who have defected from their previous big name computer companies in a desire to disentangle themselves from the compulsion and allure of social media. They now turn their technical prowess to other pursuits to promote the positive and humane use of technology.
What is one thing I can do right now?
Tip #2 Make it a personal, professional courtesy to put your smartphone or device out of sight and turned off at meetings. Research shows that even having a phone visible to others indicates you are expecting something more important to distract, rather than being fully attentive to the person with whom you are having the meeting. Some research also shows you may be regarded as less trustworthy by other parties.
We are said to be living in ‘constant partial distraction’ which detracts from our focus and what we can potentially offer. Be prepared to differentiate yourself with heightened listening and the opportunity to use more of your very good brain and talents.
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Jill Sweatman is a Neuroscience Strategist in Learning and Development. She researches, educates and consults in education, problematic internet use, culture and change management. Jill has presented to clients across all industry sectors, spanning 14 countries from the Antarctic to the Middle East, the United States to Europe and Asia. www.jillsweatman.com