We are now living in a digital world with a huge development of modern technologies and the fast growth of the Internet. Well, we cannot deny the benefit that the Internet brings to us, it’s even better than before with the support of modern technologies such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, touch-devices and so on. However, because of the development of modern technologies, the Internet has been put into a controversy as some experts claim the Internet has created a culture of distraction.
Even though the Internet has helped people to increase their knowledge and it also brings amazing, entertaining time to people. However, experts say recently productivity is destroyed by distraction, straightforwardly the internet distraction (Silverman, 2012 & Techvibes, 2015). In workplace, employees tend to be more distracted in their paper work, they have less concentration on working purpose and spend their time to do “other thing” online (checking Facebook, checking games, shopping online, reading news, watching video…). The modern world brings modern spaces with modern technologies to us so people can easily go online and connect online. Well, people think modern items will apparently help them to maintain effective work and creative work. Conversely, modern technologies go with the Internet, this is what we call a Terminator. The Internet is not only giving us what we need but also giving us many options, many interesting and attracting features which we don’t really need.
The Internet attracts people to keep going online and forget about reality. A research from Techvibes (2015) has shown that employees from office places tend to have lots of distraction. Gloria Mark has done his research about “Internet Distraction in working place” and he stated that in average, employees check their Facebook 20 times and check mail over 70 times in their working time, instead of focusing on paper working (collected from Techvibes, 2015). Evidently, The Internet is causing distraction than ever before. The Internet has changed since the arising of smartphone and other smart devices. The purpose of the Internet now is more related to self-entertaining than working or gaining knowledge (Kraus 2012). There is a story of my life that I want to share here. When I was grade 12, and the Internet almost kills my life…”almost”… I remember that was the important time for students to prepare for the most significant exam of student life: “University Entrance Exam” and students only had one month to review lessons before the final exam. I was totally distracted by “Audition” game and 360blog and yahoo. My dad got angry and he had destroyed 3 computers because of me. My parents are totally disappointed. Luckily, I realized I was wrong and I started to focus on studying (of course after 3 computers were destroying then I started to realize).
Distraction which is caused by the Internet will create terrible consequences but it is unforseen consequence that’s why people usually don’t care about it. Kraus (2012) said that human starts to be friendlier with their smartphone and people in it than real people around them. People usually get distraction when a Facebook notification or something pop-up in their phone. I think this is still true these days (in 2015). The virtual connection kills real relationship and the virtual community can only exchange experience through mediated computer screen (Rheingold 1993), so it hinders people to have real life experience and wastes people time to achieve goals in their real life. Young adult or even kids are craving for the Internet these days (Richtel 2010). The Internet is like the food and soul to some people. Horava (2008) said that distraction has become a normative state which means online distraction is now becoming a common public concern for anyone who takes it seriously. In my opinion, I think online distraction reduces the quality of real life, it makes our life become passive (Carr 2008) and we become less productive because we lean on the Internet too much and care for it too much.
Carr, N 2008, “Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” The Atlantic Monthly, viewed on 24th April 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/>
Horava, T 2008, “Navigating our days in a culture of distraction”, the Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, vol.3, no.2
Kraus, J 2012, “We’re Creating a Culture of Distraction”, Joe Kraus [blog], viewed on 24th April 2015, < http://joekraus.com/were-creating-a-culture-of-distraction>
Richtel, M 2010, “Growing up digital Digital, Wired for Distraction”, from “Business Today – Technology”, The New York Times, viewed on 24th April 2015, <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/technology/21brain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>
Rheingold, H 1993, “The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier”
Silverman, R 2012, “Workplace Distractions: Here’s Why You Won’t Finish This Article”, The Wall Street Journal, viewed on 24th April, 2015, <http://www.ics.uci.edu/community/news/articles/view_article?id=229>
Techvibes, 2015, “Why we stopped paying attention?”, Techvibes Blog, viewed in 24th April, 2015 http://www.techvibes.com/blog/why-we-stopped-paying-attention-2015-04-20