Paying Attention

ATEC 2321

(Perhaps I should mention this blog is a project for my class ATEC 2321 – Writing and Research for New Media. Thus, there will be blog posts not falling under the main topic introduced in my latest post, such as this one.)

In our last class we discussed the importance of paying attention to what we pay attention to, in order to use our brain power more productively. We were to conduct an experiment to see how much we were distracted by our phones, so two days ago I downloaded Checky and Moment, two mobile apps that track my phone usage. Check this out:

moment, phone usage, tracking, app

My phone usage via Moment.

On a side note, my phone died when I was at work on Friday and I forgot to bring my charger, hence the drastic difference. According to the app, other than the 15 times I used my phone (average of 8.6 minutes/time), I also picked it up 22 other times. From what I could recall, I spent the most time browsing social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like) and a few minutes on other types of apps (Camera, Alarm, Reminder, etc.). About a year ago, after noticing my behavior of checking every single notification I received, I decided to take action on my “addiction” and turned off most of my notification with the exception of Messages and LINE, which my parents in Vietnam used to contact me, and noticed that I checked my phone significantly less. Another observation I made was that whenever I went out without my phone or hid it in my backpack while doing homework, contrary to my expectation, I did not feel insecure but relieved. It was the presence of the phone that made me nervous, not the fear of missing out, because most of the things I missed would probably not be a matter of life and death. The fact that I could comfortably “unplug” myself from the virtual world meant that I was fully enjoying the real world, which was not any less rich or beautiful.