I once thought that the biggest harm from digital distraction (e.g., WhatsApp, Instagram etc.) was wastage of time. It is like saying 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 a small change.
Due to constant switching, our reduced focus renders us almost incapable of doing any deep and critical thinking, or any creative work. Which means, we have just thrown away our best abilities.
But EVEN that is not the full damage.
The constant bombardment with intense external stimulation (notifications, messages, likes/comments) is training our minds to constantly seek excitement. We NEED excitement all the time.
That is why we can’t do boring things like reading books or even have a conversation without stealing a glance at our phones. At this point, we have lost a core part of what makes humans so special. Tragic, no?
For our intellect: Distraction = Death.
I rest my case.