Technology is a distraction

I recently went to downtown Walnut Creek to shop a little and grab something to eat with a friend. We wanted to eat at California Pizza Kitchen. There was a wait list and and everybody who was waiting outside on the benches for their names to be called were all on their phones.

A family walked into the restaurant and their 4-year-old said, “Look! Free wifi!” reading the sign in front of the restaurant. He was excited because he probably wanted to play a game on his mommy or daddy’s phone.

After we were seated I scanned around the room and a lot of people inside were on their phones too. Some were on their phones before their food came and others were on it while they were eating.

I don’t see anything wrong with being on your phone while you’re waiting for something. It helps the time go by faster. But those who were seated and on their phones looked really disconnected from the situation.

My point is that technology is taking over the world, and not little by little. It has become something we need in our daily lives.

Everywhere you go you see people who use it while they’re walking, talking, eating and driving. It’s being used anywhere and anyway. Some  people even start to panick when their phone battery is about to die of charge.

I have even seen people texting while driving, which is not only dangerous but illegal. The other day someone rear-ended my friend’s car with her kids in it only because the driver was texting while driving and didn’t have her eyes on the road.

Many people seem to overestimate their ability to multi-task, such as the the driver who crashed into my friend’s car. Even many college students think they can text and listen to a lecture at the same time. Several studies have shown that information learned while partially distracted is often quickly forgotten.

Technology is constantly evolving and as a result it is becoming easier for people to get distracted by their phones, tablets and computers while they ought to be doing other things. It takes self-discipline these days to not let technology take over your entire focus. 

People often use it for work, and others maybe not for work just while at work, cyberloafing their employers’ time away. College students often use it in class.

Technology is not a bad thing. It helps get things done efficiently and effectively. It makes our lives easier in many ways, but too much of anything is a bad thing. People should learn to balance their usage.

I recently heard someone say, “It sucks for the older people when they were in school they didn’t have Google.” Then I heard another comment, “It sucks for this generation because with all the technologies around it’s so easy to get distracted.”

I agree that these days it’s easy to get distracted. Back then, you actually had to read to get all the answers. Although it was not as quick as googling it, you actually learned that way. There are times when I notice myself trying to read the assigned chapter for a class and then I switch my focus as soon as I hear a ring, beep, or some alert from my phone. I’ve noticed myself constantly getting distracted from doing homework or reading if I have my phone right next to me. I always want to reply to someone through text, search something on Google or play Candy Crush until all my lives are up.

It doesn’t help either when the TV is on or music is playing. I know it’s nearly impossible for me to get anything done in a timely manner. I have come to realize that I personally can get twice as much done in the same amount of time if I just put technology away. So what I’ve done to keep from getting distracted is put my phone away, turn the TV off and study in silence. That is the only way I can get things done and fast… if I don’t procastinate.

My advice to anyone who is experiencing this problem would be to re-evaluate their priorities. Something like checking your Facebook is not worth getting in trouble at work or not learning at school. And responding to a text is never worth a ticket, damages to your car, someone else’s car, someone’s life or even worse, your own life.