In my previous post, I talked about being mindful online, how it affects us, and ways we can simplify our online use. Through the readings of the blog post I really got to thinking about how I spend my time on the Internet. More often than not, I can find myself being distracted from something important I am doing online. We were given an ‘attention log’ were we were to keep a journal of our online activity. We had to be aware of what we were doing online, our surroundings and ourselves in them, what we were thinking, and what worked compared to what did not work.
I thought this would be a good exercise in seeing how we worked online and what we did mindlessly. I recorded five sessions in which I was online. Specifically, I recorded whenever I was on my laptop. Most of my time on my laptop was spent doing things related to homework. At the beginning of the week I had to work on a speech I had to prepare for another class. As I kept the attention log, I began to notice every thing I did while I was try to write this speech. While I worked I was sitting in the corner of my couch as another friend sat next to me, watching YouTube. My friend is very involved with the presidential election and because of them I became involved as well. I was working on my speech while watching clips about the election. My focus kept switching between the two and I actually tried to focus more on my speech because I was aware that I was monitoring myself. I realized that I do this kind of multitasking quite a bit. I also realized that I could have finished my speech much quicker if I had not also been watching YouTube videos.
A different session, later in the week, went differently. It was Saturday and I decided to head to the student center to finish up some homework. When I really need to focus and stay on track I like to go to the library but it is closed on Saturdays. At home there are distraction everywhere so I thought the student center would be the next best thing. Everything was going well in the beginning. I got a few small assignments wrapped up and began other, larger assignments. As I was working, I became more aware of my surroundings. I might have been getting bored with homework and began to let the noise of the student center come in. I could hear people talking, the TV across the room, and the clanking of the pool balls and sticks. I tried to keep focus and continued to work, however, I would still turn my head at someone passing by or look out the wall of windows from time to time. I did get quite a bit done, but I feel like I would have completed more had the library been open and I could work there.
The other sessions went pretty much the same as one of these two. I promise that I am not always as distracted as it may seem. This week was a bit more hectic than usual with tests and work and I could not find time to go to the library in the week. I did learn how important it is to be mindful online and how to simplify and minimize distractions.