What was I doing a minute ago? I checked my Groupme app because we have a COR401 meeting tonight while I was saving the featured photo I made for this blog with a Chinese talk show playing at the same time on YouTube. Every day I am surrounded with all types of media and electronic devices, I don’t think I need them to be on or played all the time, but sometimes I cannot stop playing with them all the time. Thus, when I am actually doing something like reading a book, finishing a project or editing a video, I usually end up spending about 10-20 minutes on my phone or computer every time. The worst thing is when I turn back to my project, I totally forget what I was doing a minute ago; then, I need to spend about 5-10 minutes to look over my stuff and find what I was doing.
Some people think there is something wrong with people’s ability to focus, but I think it is not. We can all focus on one thing either this a urgent task we need to finish in ten minutes or it is the thing which we really enjoy. For me, if I am editing some photos or videos, I can stay focus as long as I want once I get into the “flow”. Deloy mentioned this in class that when he is in the “flow”, which for him it is writing programs, he will never stop until he finish it, and he does not want anyone to distract him at all. That is how I feel when I am in the “flow” too, the more time I spend on editing my photos, the more I begin to enjoy this workflow. And this applies to other things I enjoy too.
When I am editing photos or videos, I am still in the digital world filled with distractions which are more sophisticated and dangerous, because comparing to the physical world, they are more accessible for me. For example, when I am writing this blog now, I can just open another tab, search the word “distraction”, and there will be thousands results show up, then I click on one of them, there opens another new tab, I look through the article, find it good enough to be put as a link, so I link it with the word “distraction”. While I am opening several new tabs, there are tons of ads showing up at the same time, and I am not sure if I am interested in any one of them; if I do, what I will do is opening new tabs one by one, and this will never stop until I lose my interest on the context. This whole distraction can happen in about one minute, but the result is that I will spend approximately 30-60 minutes reading some unrelated context while I am writing my blog about distraction. This sounds so ironic but this is true.
Humans are smart to enough to create more and more new thins to make life easier, Apple just announced the new iPhone 6s, and 6s Plus today, this new phone has a bunch of new features which we may heard or never heard about. I don’t know how much time I will spend on this new iPhone if I buy one when I am doing my assignments or listening to professors talking in class. There are no ways to call people who are distracted by their phones unethical, but they are definitely not smart enough to realize that they are not utilizing the most precious and valuable thing in the world they can ever have, time. Once the past minute has gone, it will never come back. I cannot go back to 5 minutes ago and tell myself not playing on my phone rather than writing my blog.
I can buy a new phone as long as I have the money and need for it; I can read those interesting articles about something I don’t know as long as I want to; I can watch all these funny commercials and well-crafted professional documentary videos as far as I have the interests; with all these concerned in mind, now I still want to spend my valuable time to finish this blog and go to bed for another day filled with precious but easy-distracting 24 time slots.
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