Technology is a big part of the world we live in. There are many benefits of using technology in our everyday lives but there is another side that many people ignore. In this three-part series, I will discuss digital distractions and how they contribute to mental clutter. I will also provide some tips for limiting technology use and suggestions for non-tech alternatives if they apply.

Are we using technology the right way?

When used correctly, technology can be amazing. It provides access to information and helps us stay connected. However, many digital distractions hijack our attention and add useless thoughts to our minds. 

These are the time-wasters people scroll through, the pointless videos/games, or the apps that we are told we can’t live without. With boundaries, these things can be a fun, planned distraction but many times there aren’t limitations and the distraction goes unchecked. 

Notifications and alerts also make these distractions feel urgent. Many people end up spending their days looking at a screen and get involved with information that is insignificant to their personal lives. This involvement can turn into mental clutter and unwanted stress. 

Many of the digital tools we add, for one reason or another, end up becoming distractions instead of serving the purpose we intended. If you go out, there is a good chance you will see people glued to their devices instead of interacting with the people around them. It could be while you are waiting in line at the grocery store or while visiting with family.

Sometimes when I see this, I wonder what it is that these people are looking at that is pulling them away from the here and now. Are they playing a game, checking the news, or scrolling through social media? Whatever the case, I find it hard to believe that what they are looking at is urgent or important enough to take them away from the here and now.

Why do we let these digital distractions take priority? Instead of just enjoying a moment and being present, many people are caught up with a digital distraction or trying to capture a “perfect moment” to share. 

Looking ahead

I think we all need to take a look at our technology use from time to time and declutter the digital distractions.

Check back next week where I’ll discuss the importance of evaluating and monitoring your time spent on technology.