Concentration or distraction? The role of digitalization…

A source of distraction or a tool that makes us more alert? Digital solutions, or rather our daily, intense use of them, is now the subject of debate. On one hand, the promoters of Collective Intelligence 2.0 see digital tools as an excellent way to exercise the brain, but on the other hand complain about the unlimited digital invasion of our minds.

These are important questions. To shed more light on them, Orange has implemented a collaborative platform dedicated to questions raised by digitalization, the Digital Society Forum, where experts and users explore the effects of digitalization on our lives and, of course, the issue of its affect on our ability to concentrate.

We are hooked on our best friends – smartphones, tablets, watches, and other connected objects – and they return the favor. Every day, they remember us with notifications and requests. So, are these new technologies distractions or do they make us more alert? The dossier “Digitalization: Our Ability to Concentrate Is at Issue” focuses on this issue, which has become even more important now that a TNS Sofres study [FR] has shown that those between 16 and 30 years of age spend nearly 3 hours per day on their smartphones, mainly visiting social networks and watching videos, two activities that require a great deal of concentration.

A solution: sensible connection

How can one absorb all the information now available and keep control of one’s concentration? The article “Managing One’s Time in a Digital World [FR]” provides answers. The sociologists questioned advocate sensible connection: reserve time for oneself and time to digest the information deemed important.

The multitasking in question

Multitasking is the ability to focus on a number of things at the same time. Yves Citton, a concentration expert invited by the Digital Society Forum, explains that the issue is not a new ability developed by digitalization, but rather a daily reality. We are always paying attention to many things simultaneously. In the metro, for example, we can concentrate on the story we are telling our companion, on not bumping our neighbor, and on train movements and stops.

So, if you would like to put a sensible distance between yourself and your best digital friends, the summer is the best time to take an offline vacation, no matter whether you love new technologies a little, a lot, passionately, of madly. However, we all have our own rhythm!