These days everything is instant, especially information. Smartphones have enabled people to know about any subject anytime and anywhere. But this ‘instant’ culture is also responsible for shorter attentions spans. Any 12-year-old can download their favourite song into their iPod or smartphone, but what they can’t do is wait, if the Internet connection is a bit slower than what they’re used to.
All the ease with which people can access data today has also affected how they concentrate and focus. Instant gratification has made memorisation nearly irrelevant. So when you’re trying to truly learn something, it’s harder, not easier.
This should not be the case. So here’s a short list of things you can try if you’ve been struggling to focus on something you’d like to learn.
- Use the Internet to learn. This may sound like it’s going against all the information above, but what this means is true learning, not getting the answers instantly from your iPhone only when you need them. For example, use avenues that let you eLearn in Australia, Velpic suggests. So much material is available and accessible online now it’s almost a crime to be ignorant.
- Use the Internet to help you focus. This again seems counter-intuitive but read on. Sometimes, you can do with a little concentration music while studying for exams. And with so many music streaming services now available, you can tune in to whatever helps you focus more. Some services have ready playlists of sounds specifically compiled for such purposes. Check out the Deep Focus playlist on Spotify, as an example.
- Disconnect from the Internet. If the first two suggestions don’t work for you, you can always disconnect. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most recommended solutions for relaxing, concentrating, studying, and accomplishing more at work in particular or in life in general. Beware, though, because disconnecting from the web (turning off your phone, not checking your email on your laptop, reading real books instead of ebooks, etc.) is easier said than done. You need dedication just to achieve this.
There are so many things people can use the Internet for, but rarely is it every used to be truly productive. It’s really up to you, to discipline yourself and get more out of the Internet than it getting more out of you.