Does Technology Make Us Lose Focus At Work?
Experts claim that email, social media, and other digital distractions significantly reduce our ability to concentrate at work.
15:48 08 May 2015
Based on a research conducted by Professor Gloria Mark of the Department of Informatics at the University of California, technology and digital distractions significantly reduce the ability of workers to focus on individual tasks.
"Back in 2004 we followed American information workers around with stopwatches and timed every action," she says.
"They switched their attention every three minutes on average. In 2012, we found that the time spent on one computer screen before switching to another computer screen was one minute 15 seconds.
"By the summer of 2014 it was an average of 59.5 seconds."
Meanwhile, cultural anthropologist associate professor Natasha Dow Schull explained that this all depends on one’s self-control.
"It's to do with having a sense of control. It's about having a choice to be drawn into something compelling, and it doesn't exceed your capabilities or leave you feeling confused and frustrated that you don't know how to do it," she says.
"To get 'flow' your activity needs to match your ability. But I have found in my own work to think about focus as not being all on you and to recognise it can be affected by your environment."