Mehreen Versi (Arusha, Tanzania)
I was walking down the road,
Taking in everything the surrounding had to offer,
The water droplets on the flowers,
And the sparkle it got from the sun.
On this walk, I was not alone,
I passed by so many people,
But no one saw me,
Was I invisible? I wondered.
Each head bent down to a screen,
Or an earpiece attached,
Totally oblivious to the surrounding,
What was happening?
In this day and age, we rely on gadgets for everything. A power cut or a low battery is what can send most of us into panic mode. Despite having its advantages on easing our day-to-day activities, we have decided to misuse this and become prey to what I would call Gadget hypnosis. How often is your head bent down to look at your phone? How focused are you on your gadgets that you don’t know what is happening around you? What happens to your listening ability both physically and mentally? Most of us can relate positively with all these questions because we are either scrolling through on social media or really invested in a game.
The correlation between the virtual world and lack of attention span goes hand in hand and is the cause to many health and mental issues that have surfaced over the past decade. Some include feeling instant gratification, jealousy, comparisons, unhealthy competition, headaches, posture, and eye problems to mention a few. Being so invested in the virtual world transports us to a fantasy that we like. Everything may seem perfect here, however, the problems start once you come out of it. The physical pain is sometimes debilitating that some people need to rush to the ER to confirm that they are not having a heart attack. While some may feel anxious or depressed if certain things don’t happen according to our pace or liking.
This phenomenon can be explained by looking at the millennial at the workplace. Compared to all other generations, sticking to a job is the most difficult, along with getting along with their colleagues, as well as getting a task done on time. This stems down to the attention span of the individual. For a complex task, it is necessary to put in focus and time to get it done right, however, we will have 10 other tasks in mind that we are not able to focus on the one that needs to be done. Being on the phone for long periods of time teaches us to multitask, and this may not be advisable to be practiced in every job.
It is vital to understand how we are getting absorbed into the gadgets as this is diminishing the quality of our lives both in terms of productivity and health. Anything in excess is harmful and this applies to the misuse of technology.