Social Media Weakens Concentration in the Era of Technology

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Have you ever checked how many hours you spend on social networking websites every day? Does the number of screen time exceed your expectation? Virtually, most netizens now are spending numerous time on screen especially on social networking websites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Skimming on those varied message randomly may make you feel like knowing the world better than ever. However, it is said that excessive social networking sites skimming can cause irrational procrastination and thus negative effects to work and study due to the declined concentration. To alleviate the problem of weakend concentration caused by overmuch phone use, feasible solutions could be preventative campaign held by the government, wiser phone use and time management and remedial workshops held in enterprises and schools.

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First and foremost, the seriousness of the problem is that weakened concentration could slow down society development by reducing work efficiency among social media addicts. It is yet shown that 89% of Hong Kong residents surfed the Internet in 2018 and more than 80% of them visit social networking sites( Hootsuide, 2019). With average phone use hours of more than 6 (Hootsuide,2019), it is assumable that a majority of Hong Kong people are hooked to social networking sites. In this case, heavy social media users may find them always distracted by constantly sent new messages on screen. Work delay due to weakened concentration during work and irrational procrastination developed unconsciously could eventually lead to work inefficiency in the society. Consequently, society development in levels of economy, technology and politics as well as global competitiveness of the city could be jeopardized.

The main cause of weakened concentration could be addiction to the social networking sites which provide a platform for users to interact with each other by exchanging each other’s generated ideas( Nesi, J.& Prinstein, M, 2015).In addition to the ease of acquiring multifarious messages, stronger tendency of interacting with surrounded environment also plays a role in developing social media obsession. Especially for those who gain social voids in reality , unremitting thrills on the Internet could do a significant job in appealing their vulnerable brains (Li, F.&L iu, QH., 2019).Therefore, social networking sites is seemed much more enticing when addicted netizens encounter humdrum in reality such as piles of work. Those heavy social media users are prone to weakened concentrations because the constantly occurring immediate thrills brought by skimming spree on social networking sites.

Another cause, Irrational procrastination, could be seen as the progress of social networking sites addiction. “Irrational procrastination refers to the intentional delay of action despite knowing that one will be worse off due to the delay”(Lian. et al., 2018). Due to the mentioned immediate thrills of social networking sites, social media users are likely to pick phones even during professional occasions like lectures, classrooms and workplaces. A research has shown that, jumping out messages averagely interrupt a worker six to eight times per day (Brooks, S., 2015). Workers require about 25 minutes to focus back to the original task and the process could eventually cause longer work time (Brooks, S., 2015).Despite tightening work schedule, this kind of technological distraction could also jeopardize workers’ concentration as well as work quality. In long term, tribes who need to work concentratedly in educational institutions or workplaces may tolerate unsatisfying outcomes. A justifiable instance could be lower grade point average(GPA) of heavy Facebook student users in university (Brooks, S., 2015).

A possible solution to the problem is preventative campaigns held by authority about the detriments to declined concentrations. Many phone users browse their phone simply because of the ubiquity to the head-down habits in spite of consideration to its impacts and outcomes. Therefore, promotion about detriments to excessive skimming for inessentials may practically arouse public’s awareness since the mentioned action is very daily-life-related. According to a scientific research, browsing phone spree could be “associated with lower task performance, increased technostress and lower happiness”(Brooks, S., 2015). Apart from the already named possible mental impacts, the lower task performance itself could also extend to another one: procrastination, and thus worse concentration with severer obsession to phone in order to escape the unwanted reality conditions. Whenever heavy phone users fall into the vicious circle, their quality of life could be declined without obvious consciousness. If promote successfully ,the public especially those “head-down” tribes would enhance their habits willingly for their own well-being. Inevitably, it is always observed that promotional work like slogans and propaganda footage on Television are ignored and slighted. Therefore, the authority ought to improve the way promoting . For example, speech held in educational institutions could involve not only the detriments but also certain interesting clips about impacted lives to make the audience interested and immersive. Although it is hard to raise public’s awareness to certain issues by mere promotions, still,  the fundamental knowledge is vital before making a changing step.

If successfully acquired, the following step to promotion is the feasible details of how netizens could wisely use smartphones and do time management. Before condemning someone like a naughty child or an absent-minded student on class, the fact should be noticed is being distracted is one nature of human being due to the inherent desire to gain new messages (Catherine, P., 2018). This nature entices people to notice every link they encounter on screen as well as every jumping out “beep” during your task. Catherine, the book author of How to break up with your phone, encourages people not to do sudden blame or change for remedy phone addiction because of the possible backlash. Instead, mindfulness is said to be more effective when facing different addictions. Mindfulness refers to observing and realizing someone’s reaction(both brain and emotional ) when addiction occurs but not to object every invitation the brain gives (Catherine, P., 2018). After that, using certain apps to track screen time and how many times of everyday phone picking up assists with being more conscious of one’s behavior. Once the consciousness is generated, phone users will find much easier to reorganize their lives which used to be overthrown and overwhelmed by message skimming addiction. The very advantage of mindfulness and consciousness is to provide a pause to those habitual action and help people learn not to accept every invitations given by brain such as picking up phone immediately when you wake up.

Even for people who already have declined concentration, remedial work as follows may help revitalize and be sober in the era of technology. Indeed, with instinct of being distracted easily, heavy phone users would find it even harder to concentrate when technological interruptions are ubiquitous. There are still certain kind of “effortful control” helping people redevelop happy mood and satisfying work outcomes again (Brooks, S., 2015). Resembling muscles in physical body, concentration too could be improved by practices. After realizing brain’s constant various invitations with mindfulness’s help, phone users could try to do single and simple thing in a short time to enhance concentration. Doing two digit multiplication might be difficult, but walk-thinking, listening to music intensively to identify every instrument or even reading a book could be feasible methods to practice focusing (Catherine, P., 2018). Another advanced practice is to meditate or so-called mindfulness mediation (Catherine, P.,2015). Mediation refers to be in state of “non-doing”, people who skilled in mindfulness could then try to focus on mere one thing with eyes-closed and last several minutes. This may sound outdated and conservative but it could bring significant improvements to concentration. The mentioned solutions really worth a trying because a more concentrate brain always comes up with more creations and wonderful ideas.

The whole world has developed rapidly with technological help whereas technology the alleged two-sided-sword also bring stirless infiltration into daily lives. Even People living in urban areas may find passersby using phone in every corner, being conscious is still important if any rejections of being technology slaves. In a such fast-paced city like Hong Kong, when competition happens in almost everywhere, strong and stable concentration is a key to committed competitiveness as well as satisfying work outcomes. Although the declined concentration has already emerged, mindfulness and some helpful practices could do excellent rehabilitation. It is never late to change.

Academic References:

  1. Brooks, S. (2015). Does personal social media usage affect efficiency and well-being? Computers in Human Behavior, 46(C), 26-37. Retrieved from:
  2. Catherine, P. (2018)How to break up with your phone. New York: Ten Speed Press.
  3. Lian, S., Sun, S.  Zhou, Z., Fan, C., Niu, G. &Liu, Q. (2018). Social networking site addiction and undergraduate students' irrational procrastination: The mediating role of social networking site fatigue and the moderating role of effortful control. PLoS ONE, 13(12), E0208162.
  4. Hootsuide (2019). Digital 2019 Hong Kong. Retrieved from:
  5. Nesi, J., Prinstein, MJ. (2015) Using Social Media for Social Comparison and Feedback-Seeking: Gender and Popularity Moderate Associations with Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 43(8): 1427–1438.Retrieved from:

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