Having the ability to focus on studying is one of the most important factors in determining a student’s performance and academic results. This is particularly important in the era of Internet and having abundance of advance mobile technologies, including cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices. For me, the two major distractions that affect my ability to focus on my study are playing video games and overuse of my cellphone.
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My biggest distraction is gaming. I started playing game since I was really young, at the age of about 5. At first, gaming wasn’t a big deal for me; however, over time, I play games more and more. Commencing with casual games such as Bejeweled or Gold Rush, I then moved to playing online games. I remember, when I was in 5th grade, I played games constantly. I feel like I was addicted to games and I didn’t know when that happened. My parents only allowed me to play during the weekend for one or two hours. But it did not prevent me from thinking of games. I could not concentrate on my studying. I kept on thinking about the games I played. For example, I was always thinking about how my attendance calendars in games looked like, were there any events, what levels were my friends, or was I kicked from my guild because of my absence?
In reality, I just couldn’t wait until the weekends to play. I soon realized that games had affected my school performance and my grades. My parents were upset about it. I found myself a solution. I stopped playing MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Instead, I played strategy games, such as chess and Vietnamese Tic-Tac-Toe. These games didn’t require much time to play, and most important of all, they trained my ability to focus and to think. When I moved to the US, some of my friends at school played League of Legends and I tried it. It is the only game that I play nowadays. League of Legends is also a strategy game that requires me to control a character. However, it could still be addictive and it needs determination to not let it takes away your study time. I don’t keep my laptop near my study desk or in my room and it helps reduce my attempts to playing games. I play game only one hour or a little bit more a day after all of the homework is completed.
Cellphone use is another factor that affects my ability to focus on studying. A phone is supposed to be used for communicating. However, I can do many other things on a cell phone such as checking email, texting, and using social networking sites, particularly Facebook. For examples, when I study and use my phone at the same time, email or text, or Facebook notifications would pope up and I could not ignore them. I could open it and it would cost me ten or fifteen minutes. After Facebook, I could continue on using Instagram, and another ten minutes would be gone. I have to admit that overuse of cellphone was an undeniable factor that affects my abilities to focus and to study effectively. Having a cellphone is important and necessary for me. Sometimes, I need to use my phone to look up online dictionary because my English proficiency is still low. However, recognizing the easy possibility of overusing my cellphone, I have deleted all of the apps that are difficult to resist using. I also try to turn off my phone before I go to bed so that it does not affect my bed time. As a result, my school performance has been improved and I have more time to participate in physical and extracurricular activities.
Internet and advance mobile technologies have created more distractions than ever before. Recognizing effects of these distractions on school performance and work effectiveness is an important step in stopping or reducing their negative consequences. I want to conclude this essay by referencing a quote from a famous psychologist: “The more you can concentrate the better you’ll do on anything, because whatever talent you have, you can’t apply it if you are distracted.”
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