My (Lack of) Attention Journal

This week, I figured I would give you all a break from hearing about my Spanish-speaking endeavors and blog about keeping an attention journal. I kept track of sessions from Monday to Friday this week. I first noticed that my sessions were much longer than the required fifteen minutes because (1) I had much more than fifteen minutes worth of homework and (2) I was constantly distracted.

The first day of my attention journal, my session was (mostly) school-related.  After practice, I went to the basement computer lab in the library. While I was there, I completed forum responses, explored some of the resources for this week’s modules, and began reading for another class. I would occasionally take breaks to text a friend or scroll through social media. Although I had to remind myself to stay on task, I would consider Monday’s session a success.

My second session was much less productive. I did do homework on Tuesday, but I recorded a time when I didn’t. In between classes, work, and practice, I watched Netflix in my room while scrolling through social media. Although I appreciated the break from the rest of my day, I felt guilty for not doing my homework and slight panic that I wouldn’t have enough time to finish it later. For any of you who read my other blog post, this was the day I spent about three hours on my phone. In other words, I could have spent my time a lot better on Tuesday.

These two sessions were the most extreme of my five recorded days; the other three fell somewhere in between on the scale of productivity. I did find that my bed is a much less productive place for homework than any desk is. When working in bed, I have a tendency to get distracted and tired. One thing I did notice was that my multi-tasking or break-taking wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. In my head, I planned to take a five minute break after finishing each assignment; however, what actually happened is I would randomly grab my phone in the middle of finishing an assignment and scroll through Snapchat, Facebook, and/or Instagram for (sometimes) over fifteen minutes.

My biggest lesson from this week is that technology, especially my phone, is a much larger part of my life than I had realized, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Social media especially has so seamlessly integrated itself into our lives, and many people, myself included, don’t realize how much time it is stealing. Although it is necessary for me to integrate technology into my future classroom, I think it is also my duty to warn students of its harmful effects and encourage them to take a break from it every once in a while.

Learn to be Bored

In today’s society, technology is normally described as only one of two things: a great improvement to our lives or our biggest nightmare. For the first ten weeks of this class, we have examined the truly awesome things we can do with technology and how we can incorporate it into the classroom. This week, all of the sources we explored discussed why technology is bad for us. Well which is it? The answer to this, like many other things, is balance. Technology was created for the advancement of society, and society certainly has advanced. With the help of computers and the internet, education alone is vastly different than ever before. On the other hand, that’s not what it’s used for most of the time. Why are we all so attached to our mobile devices? It can’t possibly be because it makes us happy. Like Rebecca Hiscott said, “The longer you’re on Facebook, the worse you feel.” I downloaded the Moment app, which keeps track of how often your phone is used, and it has opened my eyes to how much time I waste during the day. My first day using the app, I was on my phone about three hours. Granted, I watched Netflix  for an hour and a half of those hours, so I wasn’t on social media for that whole time. But I still wasn’t being productive. What would happen if I took back those hours?

Since my first day on Moment, I have spent less than an hour on my phone each day, but imagine how much time would be wasted spending three hours on my iPhone every day. In other words, that’s twenty-one hours per week, over eighty-four hours per month, and one thousand and ninety-five hours per year, totaling forty-five days of the year… If I consistently spent three hours on my phone every day for an entire year, I would lose forty-five whole days of that year.

Something that many people mentioned when lessening their time on the internet was boredom, and I can’t remember the last time I was truly bored. When I feel boredom even coming on, I scroll through my Instagram feed or watch my current show on Netflix. While technology cannot be avoided and has proven to be very beneficial in many situations, it also has detrimental effects. Personally, I need to learn to separate the good from the bad aspects of society and learn to be bored every once in a while.