As I was flipping through my Facebook feeds on Sunday, I noticed the following post from Fast Company.
I see their point, and I do understand that the behavior of some people can be labeled with no other word than distraction. However, I think it is how we use the technology that is often missing from the conversation. Yes, it is unacceptable (and rude) to engage with your phone when you are in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with someone. But is it so bad to be checking your Feedly while sitting at a stop light?
Speaking from my own personal experience, my digital devices are used so much for learning rather than as a distraction from the current moment, whatever that may be. This understanding of my digital device usage surfaced for me on a recent trip out of the country. As my smartphone was on the “international plan” with a small number of minutes, texts and data, I was particularly careful not to use it but in the most necessary of instances. But I found that there were many, many times that I wanted to use it….for learning. Whether it was the tour guide sharing something I wanted to learn more about, or me needing to figure out the quickest route to get from one point to another, I missed using my digital device for learning!
So I ask the question: What are most of the people in our society of IDIOTs doing with their smartphones? Are they using them as distractors from the moment at hand, or are they using them to harness a learning opportunity? While I have my moments of distraction (who doesn’t?), I’m pretty confident I can manage how I use my devices….and that, I am realizing, is mostly for the possibilities of learning.