Bilal Altaf Wagay
The word distraction comes from the Latin words dis- “apart,” and there-“drag.”It is what deviates one’s focus from the interesting tasks in the classroom to the dinner table and provokes the one for unexpected doings that can have countless negative impacts. The factors responsible for it may come either from the external environment or from the internal environment of the body. These factors become much more important conspicuously for and making the victim permanently addicted to it. Distraction from tasks having no alternatives has long-term negative aftermaths in life. Procrastination goes hand in hand with it which makes the sufferer lazy in every sphere of life. Once it deviates the full term attention of the person from desired tasks, doing hostile activities becomes a habit of life sooner or later and results in the loss of connections with yourself and with the lovely members of a family. Distraction from significant tasks is a curse and nasty things are a blessing. Distraction seemingly is common in students and deviates them from their goals and interrupts their path to reach their ambitions. Distractions among college students are more than among students of secondary level because of more opportunities and a new environment where they have much more liberty. Distraction among students is governed by various factors and they come in various forms like smartphones, unrestricted friend circles, thought processes, and many more. According to recent studies, the exaggerated use of smartphones is one of the major factors of their distraction from meeting expectations. The extravagant use of mobile phones pulls and deviates users’ attention away from other things so that they cannot focus on work-related activities. The mobile phone limits the user’s attention and to make appropriate timely decisions and ultimately affects their psychological well-being (Salehan and Negahban, 2013). Mobile phone distraction is defined as the prevention of giving full attention to the nearest surroundings (David et al., 2015).
Mobile phone addiction is at an alarming rate
A powerful communication device was demonstrated by Motorola in 1973 and made commercially available from 1984. This device has been used by people in such a way that it seems to be a part of our genetic material now. Every year cellular subscriptions are increasing at a soaring rate. In 2012, a new Time Mobility Poll reported that 84% of people “couldn’t go a single day without their mobile devices. Around 206 published survey reports suggest that 50% of teens and 27% of parents feel that they are addicted to mobile phones. In 2016, there were more than seven billion users worldwide and it is astonishing to say that the percentage of internet usage has increased globally 7-fold from 6.5% to 43% between 2000 and 2015. As of 2022, China had over one billion internet users, more than any other country in the world. India ranked second, as close to 933 million Indians accessed the internet via any device. The United States followed with approximately 307 million online users. As per the recent reports, the over usage of mobile phones may cause psychological illnesses such as dry eyes, computer vision syndrome, weakness of thumb and wrist, neck pain and rigidity, increased frequency of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, tactile hallucinations, nomophobia, insecurity, delusions, auditory sleep disturbances, insomnia, hallucinations, lower self-confidence, and mobile phone addiction disorders. In animals, chronic exposure to Wi-Fi radiation causes behavioral alterations, liver enzyme impairment, pyknotic nuclei, and apoptosis in the brain cortex. Kesari et al. concluded that mobile phone radiation may increase the reactive oxygen species, which plays an important role in the development of metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
Researchers by analyzing the dark side of using mobile phones extravagantly revealed that it ultimately has negative impacts on the psychological well-being of an individual such as stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance (Bianchi and Phillips, 2005; Thomée et al., 2011; Nawaz et al., 2018).
We can not underestimate the technology and services provided by the modern world to mankind. Still, there are some electronic gadgets like mobile phones whose excessive and unknowing use reveals negative impacts on students’ attention and decline in their success rates thereby. Students use it everywhere, even in classrooms, meanwhile attending important lectures thereby deviating their maximum attention and putting a big question mark over their potential and optimal learning process. Most people use it while walking on roads, while driving without taking care of their lives. Its negative consequences are seen in the increasing rate of accidents and loss of precious lives. Although the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited by law, still many drivers are seen making and receiving calls while driving. In India, around 31% of road traffic accidents could be attributed to the use of mobile phones while driving leading to an estimated loss of 3% of the gross domestic product. Farmer et al. have found that drivers in the US spend an average of 7% of their driving time talking on their phones.No doubt the use of gadgets has direct relations with your consciousness that if then the process of using will not harm you and it will prove a facilitator for you and to have comfortable access into the modern world.
Recent studies have shown and highlighted the reasons that suck life and make us blind and distracted from the real world. A few of them are mentioned below;
● Lack of knowledge and proper guidance about the use of electronic gadgets.
● Taking wrong or even right decisions at the wrong time.
● Giving priorities to the unnecessary things and thus making life sophisticated with them.
● Unlimited friends consume crucial time and affect the quality of relationships with parents and siblings.
● Doing multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time(switch-tasking). It is what actually makes your brain unproductive and uninventive.
● Partying, aloofness, use of social media in unnecessary means, and procrastination are other such means of distracting youth from what they are supposed to have.
Few remedies that refrain you from getting distracted
● Set the right goals before going to start the journey.
● Take the right decisions at the right time.
● Say no to drugs that snatch your consciousness.
● Read your habit before you go to change it.
● Concentrate your focus on one thing at one time(selective attention). Don’t hurt the law of productivity by doing multi-tasks at one time.
● Make your brain less burdened and more productive by making written action plans.
● Proper scrutinization of daily set targets and their review at the end of the day is very important. Give first priority to unfulfilled targets to achieve on the following day.
● Meanwhile, studying or any other important task that needs your full attention e.g driving put your phone on do not disturb mode.
Distraction never means difficulty in a task or a performer could not do the work at all but it simply means paying less attention to it instead the demand of attention from it. I personally feel that being in touch with social media frequently makes men unsocial and staying away from it makes the men social. It no doubt connects us with the outside world but in reality, it is disconnecting us from the truth. By this, we hide on screens and fail to accept and tackle the challenges that we face in daily life and feel that we are alone, stressed, and distracted.
– The writer a resident of Bandipora is Zoology educator at ‘Sabqas – An Academy of Arts and Science’ at Hajin