The Perils of the Distraction Economy

How often do you check your mobile device for updates on email or social media – even when you haven’t been interrupted by a buzz or alert sound?

I accidentally left my mobile phone at home on a recent 4 day road trip to regional Victoria … it was an unintentional detox and off-grid experience – and I enjoyed it (mostly).

Even before my unintentional detox, I had proactively turned off all alerts on my mobile device in a bid to reduce unwanted interruptions and distractions through my day.

That Addictive Need To Check

However, I know I still catch myself reaching for the phone and checking email and/or social media … and at times, going down rabbit holes driven by algorithms to steel my focus and attention from what I was doing.

I read this quote from Dr Jason Fox recently …

“… in the distraction economy it is increasingly difficult for wisdom and complexity to compete with that which is salient, simplistic, profitable and affirming. We are being corralled and hoodwinked.”

I’m convinced there is a real and present danger that our attention and focus are being corralled and hoodwinked, and for us to escape being corralled, we need to first admit there is a problem.

Are You A FOMO-Holic?

A FOMO-Holic is a person constantly self-interrupting their focus and attention by being addicted to constantly checking mobile devices for updates on emails or social media.

I’m a recovering FOMO-holic, but with a data set of n=1, can attest that the sense of self-determination you feel when you know you’re more in control of your attention and focus, is liberating.

Are you being sucked into supporting the distraction economy or are you genuinely attempting to regain your focus and attention? How might your attention and focus be being corralled and hoodwinked? And How might that be impacting your potential to strive to be at your best and succeed (by whatever definition you might have) across all domains of your life?

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