We are currently living in a very dynamic and rapidly changing world. Advances in digital and communications technology have made our lives simpler, easier and more convenient. Almost everything can be done from practically everywhere when one is connected to the internet. From buying groceries online to e-banking. The options are almost limitless.
Although the internet provides many benefits including the reduction of time, effort and money for various things, it also has many direct and indirect drawbacks.
More and more people are (becoming) addicted to their smartphones. In many cases it distracts them from what they are doing or need to do. Think of students in college or university for example. They grab their smart phones if the lecture is boring or they wait until the moment the teacher isn’t looking. But not only students check their smart phones at times when they actually should not to. Employees in general can also be frequent users of their smart phones during work time. In addition to students and employees, (some) car drivers are also ‘felons’ of the same undertaking; checking Facebook, emailing or texting whilst they are driving.
Beyond the fact that people check their smart phones when they actually should not to, it also indirectly tends to push aside the reality of the real world. Although it is completely understandable that checking updates on social media is important to many individuals, in some cases however, it causes them to ignore important global issues. As our main attention tends to be mainly directed to social media, other important issues such as climate change, pollution, growing inequality and poverty are often overlooked or are simply ignored. That is very unfortunate because everyone is aware of those problems. In addition to the distraction of smart phones, television can also create an incomplete and fictitious picture of the world. Take for example the large number of talk shows, soaps and reality TV shows. Although the main aim of those programmes is to entertain the viewer, it also unintentionally and indirectly creates a false picture of the world. A world where there are little or few problems. In reality however, there are many problems that are in desperate need of solving. Although it might be difficult to overcome the distraction of using our smart phones, laptops, tablets and other devices, it will benefit us in the long run as we can direct more attention to really important worldwide problems. Therefore, it is an imperative to find ways of dealing with distraction caused by the (heavy) use of the aforementioned digital devices and turn our attention to tackling global issues.