Recently, a friend forwarded an article at The Atlantic by Jean Twenge. The title; Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? It’s a long, disturbing eye-opening read that I highly recommend. The gist is that screen addiction with our youngest generation is worsening their mental health. I have seen first hand some of these effects with loved ones, and to a certain extent myself. I suspect heavy users of devices and social media, such as myself, all are affected by the phenomena of F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) to some degree. This is a disorder where you feel the constant need to check your sites, and the distractions associated with the pull of your screens and devices. Folks handle it differently, and I think I manage it reasonably well but have suspected that it’s hurting my powers of concentration. This is not just on the golf course, but at work, at home, in the car; essentially everywhere. I suspect it’s been the case for years and it’s getting worse. So I’m going to run an experiment.
To reduce the effects of device induced FOMO, I will make three changes:
- No more checking work email during non-working hours
- No more daily use of social media sites (including this one)
- Complete elimination of any contact with Facebook for the month of August
So what am I going to do with all my spare time? Play and practice more golf, increase my levels of physical activity, read a book. Doesn’t sound so bad does it?
So if you don’t hear from me in a while, I’m not ignoring you. Just in the lab experimenting with improved concentration!