Confessions of a Distraction Addict

I’m guest posting today over at Brett Harrison’s blog.  He’s got a cool story, so even if two blog posts by me in one day is more than you can handle, follow my link at the bottom of the page (it will be there as soon as I have it) and at least read about him and his wife and their current adventures.  I begged him to let me post there, and he said I could as long as it was about missionaries, so I decided to ask if missionaries these days have to leave their keyboards.  Head on over and join in the discussion.

In the mean time, here’s my post for the day.

I emailed back and forth this week with a guy I’ve met in blogworld.  His name is Josiah Bancroft, and he’s a poet.  It’s kind of cool, this whole thing of meeting people that ten years ago I may never have met.

Anyway in our email exchange he brought up the fact that my family and I have forsaken television for a year, and then he made a comment that got my attention:

“As an aside, I quit watching TV years ago, though there have been lapses. I found that the problem wasn’t the programming itself, but the thoughtlessness that resulted from sitting in front of the endless stream of shows and ads. That constant state of distraction is both depressing and addictive, I think…I find that watching (online or through Netflix) fewer shows less often and without commercials actually inspires me to work and write.”

Are we addicted to distraction? I know I am. I now use distraction as a motivational tool:

“Work for 15 more minutes and then you can get on Twitter.”

“Write three more pages and then you can check Facebook.”

“Write your blog post and then you can check email.”

When I found out the Wifi was not working in the cafe I had settled into for the day, I got out of there faster than Superman exiting a kryptonite factory. Why? I don’t need Wifi or the winternets to do 90% of my work, but the thought of going stretches of time without distraction freaked me out.

What’s your take on distraction as addiction?

Now, for my guest post over at Brett’s site, click HERE

6 Replies to “Confessions of a Distraction Addict”

  1. I, too, am so easily distracted. I find I work much better when I can focus, but then, the trick is knowing how to make myself focus. Perhaps the key, for me, would being somewhere without internet. But that makes my chest hurt to think about, so it probably won’t happen.

    Glad you and Josiah connected. You’re both good peeps.

  2. Absolutely! I sometimes think to myself, “Am I moving toward any of my goals right now? Or am I distancing myself from them?”

  3. Oh yeah. It’s ridiculous. Can’t believe how addicted I’ve gotten to the Internet. I don’t like it, and I’ve often thought about dropping it like you’ve dropped TV for a year. Haven’t felt like that would be the best career move, though, haha.

    And by the way, thanks for introducing us to Josiah. Skimmed his stuff, and I like him. Bookmarked him and everything.

  4. While reading Charles Baudelaire’s Intimate Journals last night (yeah, I know how terribly pretentious that sounds), I happened upon this quote which I think is relative and, in its own way, inspiring:

    “One must work, if not from inclination at least from despair, since, as I have fully proved, to work is less wearisome than to amuse oneself.”

    That’s how I think of distractions: as amusements. And when you think about it, is anything more exhausting than spending an entire day looking for amusement? Focused work fills me with energy; focused amusement wears me out. Perhaps, in the end, it’s all about balance.

    1. the pretention level was tempered by the wisdom of the quote. why does amusement wear us out while work energizes? interesting question – must have something to do with the way our bodies/minds are made.

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