Constant Connectivity and Frequent Interruptions Promote Fast Thinking 

There’s a reason slow thinking is a dying art. It has been replaced by fast thinking or reaction thinking.

And there’s a reason why we’ve made this shift as a society. Two changes in our everyday life are responsible for this shift, in my opinion. They are constant connectivity and frequent interruptions. I’ll explain exactly what they are below and share why I think they are responsible for our new fast thinking habit. 

What is Constant Connectivity and What are Its Consequences? 

Take a look around you. In how many different ways are you connected to everything outside your room right at this moment?

You probably have a computer close by and a television. Maybe a radio and possibly an old-fashioned landline phone. How about the various tablets and smart devices that connect to the internet? And of course, there’s the constant connectivity device we all carry around with us everywhere – the smartphone. We are connected to other people, media, and advertisers in multiple different ways, no matter where we go and what we do.

This means that we are getting more information at a faster rate than ever before. We are bombarded by it and have had to adapt and learn to handle this flood of information.

As a result, we’ve got very good at skimming and scanning. We glance at an article online or scroll through our newsfeed to determine if there’s anything we need to know about and take action on.

This requires fast thinking and our brains are adapting to it. That’s right, our brain structure is starting to change as a result of the Internet and mass media. It’s also the reason why we have a much harder time to keep our attention on many long pieces of text, let alone a novel. We’re no longer wired to process information that way and I’m not sure I like it. How about you? 

Why Frequent Interruptions Keep Us from Slow Thinking 

The second part of the equation is frequent interruptions. Email, instant messages, and yes, the smartphone again are to blame for this.

Start to pay attention to how often your favourite digital devices interrupt and disrupt your thinking today. I’m betting it’s a lot more than you realise.

It’s hard to think slow and really get into a new project when you’re interrupted by a new blinking or beeping alert. 

Whenever you find it hard to concentrate, or you struggle to get through a mentally tough task, make sure these frequent interruptions aren’t the cause of your struggle and the resulting frustration.

If so, banish that phone, turn off those email alerts, and try again. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes. 

Photo by SCREEN POST on Unsplash

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