Put down your smart phone…

The more I watch the way people behave with mobile devices the more uncomfortable I become. I was secretly pleased a couple of years ago when my son justified his use of a Nokia (non-smart) phone, “Makes and takes calls, sends and receives texts. What else do I need?”

I have regular conversations with dentists and practice managers who face resentment at best and mutinies at worst because team members aren’t allowed to keep their phones with them (and on line) at all times, on the pretext of “what happens if someone has to get hold of me?” which really means, “but I’ll have to go without Instagram/FB/Snapchat/Twitter/etc.” (Perm any 3 from a multitude).

This comes from The Economist via “Memex” (the blog of John Naughton which I consider to be essential reading).

Distraction is a constant these days; supplying it is the business model of some of the world’s most powerful firms. As economists search for explanations for sagging productivity, some are asking whether the inability to focus for longer than a minute is to blame…..

….Distractions clearly affect performance on the job. In a recent essay, Dan Nixon of the Bank of England pointed to a mass of compelling evidence that they could also be eating into productivity growth. Depending on the study you pick, smartphone-users touch their device somewhere between twice a minute to once every seven minutes.

Conducting tasks while receiving e-mails and phone calls reduces a worker’s IQ by about ten points relative to working in uninterrupted quiet. That is equivalent to losing a night’s sleep, and twice as debilitating as using marijuana. By one estimate, it takes nearly half an hour to recover focus fully for the task at hand after an interruption. What’s more, Mr Nixon notes, constant interruptions accustom workers to distraction, teaching them, in effect, to lose focus and seek diversions.

Too much time wasted on one man.

Having some “free” time this morning before the Wren Boy run at the local GAA ground, I was browsing The Guardian online and completed “The Donald Trump Quiz of the Year”.

The object is to answer 10 questions on “The Donald”. Here’s the link.

Being a competitive sort of individual I was disappointed that I started badly but I really couldn’t imagine Trump admitting to “a bad hair day”. I was correct with the other nine answers.

The paper concluded,  “I worry that you have not quite managed to break free of Trump’s vice-like grip on  the world’s attention. You have been thinking about him too much. Remember, that’s what he wants.”

Our civilisation seems to be controlled by narcissists, encouraging the rest of us to either join them in their self-centred universe or be subjugated by it.

The Brexit politicians and the 45th President are not people who appear to put “service before self”, they take little or notice of what I think – perhaps I have been guilty of paying them too much attention.

From today I will be spending far less of my time on them.

I suggest you do the same.

 

 

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