|Source: The American Scholar|
I read with much interest an article in The American Scholar titled Saving the Self in the Age of the Selfie. The article, written by James McWilliams, delves into our seemingly incessant need to be connected, typically via smartphones, to emails, text messages, Facebook and other social media. The immediacy of data not only informs but also distracts and stresses us out. For some, this manifests as FOMO, Fear of Missing Out. For many, we seem to be losing the ability to concentrate, focus and carry on meaningful interactions and relationships in a face to face, in person manner.
I frequently witness distracted behavior at work, both in committee meetings and on clinical rounds. Has paying attention really become this difficult?
The solution does not seem easy. Some need to learn how to be alone and in silence, no small feat in this day and age of virtual connectedness. Digital disarmament will take willpower and discipline, much like what is needed for smoking cessation and weight loss.
Power down, go analog, lay low, talk face to face, read a book (or something without pop-up adds and hyperlinks) and learn to be bored, this is the next challenge.