“Why do you keep smelling the book all the time?”, I ask my wife as she takes yet another sniff at the book she’s reading sitting beside me. “Are you writing your blog or are you looking around?”, she replies, chuckling.
This sets me thinking; how distracted am I? And is this cutting into my productivity? Every time I sit down to do something, I get distracted. Agreed, the human mind has an infinite appetite for distraction as Huxley has rightly said, but what does that translate into in real life terms?
Someone who is as distracted as me will open his/her email, Facebook, and 9GAG. Facebook posts would be replied to, random pictures liked and shared on 9GAG, and all the windows would be closed, the email that is to be sent in the first place would be forgotten, only to be remembered after shutting down the computer, and if it is important enough to be sent, then the computer would have to be restarted all over again, and something which ideally ought to have taken just 10 minutes, would now have taken about an hour.
And to what avail is this distraction, be it in the form of emails, or funny imageboards, or social networks, or chat boxes? A few laughs, a few moments of blissful ignorance? Or the perception of ourselves by others of being Always Available? Do we feel reassured when Outlook is always open, or the Blackberry is always on emails, so that we can reply to those messages as and when they come, leading to supposed “customer delight”?
Is this “delight” really worth all that it is made out to be? Would we perhaps be better off logged off from all these distractions, and simply closing the more important task at hand and getting it out of the way, hence servicing people better who are on the current window, if you know what I mean.
Alt Tab is totally screwing with our lives, ladies and gentlemen, and while it is sometimes necessary to Alt Tab one’s day through work, one must use one’s discretion in knowing when to save data and close the app, keeping only the important one on, so that the eyeball doesn’t tend to roll towards that blinking Outlook icon with its tiny envelope indicating the arrival of new email.
Perhaps it’s time we took back control of our lives from technology, our supposed customers, and got it sorted out the right way so that we can use technology better and service these customers better.