I once thought that the biggest harm from digital distraction (e.g., WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.) was wastage of time. It is like saying that drugs are harmful because they cost money. But if someone gave them free, would they be ok?
Time-wastage is the smallest of the harms – it goes way deeper.
E.g., if you spend 2 hrs on WhatsApp in an 8 hr day, you lose 25% of your time. It is bad enough, but the reality is much worse.
We open WhatsApp throughout the day, and every time, we lose time in regaining our focus. So the time loss is maybe 30-40%.
But even this harm is just ‘small change’.
Due to constant switching, our reduced focus renders us incapable of doing deep and critical thinking, or any creative work. Which means, we have just thrown away our best talents.
But EVEN that is not the full damage.
The constant bombardment of intense external stimulation (notifications, messages, likes/comments) is wiring our minds to constantly seek excitement. We NEED excitement all the time.
No wonder, we can’t do boring things like reading books or talking to someone without stealing a glance at our phones. We have lost a core part of what makes us humans so special. Tragic, no?
For our intellect: Distraction = Death.
I rest my case.