The self-professed bibliophile who is researcher at the University of Cambridge informed the audience that the “average British person checks their mobile phone 10,000 times a year”.
He said smart phones are “the biggest source of distraction in the modern world”. But that it is not really our fault as social media companies make it “deliberately addictive”. He explained that we are inherently social beings and that our innate nature of “hunter-gatherer” has now become “information hunter gatherer” and a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) keeps us addicted.
He quoted an extract from Nicholas Carr; author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains: “I am not thinking the way I used to think… deep reading…is now a struggle”. Shores questioned whether digital distractions are hindering our concentration levels, and whether we are now living in an attention deficit economy?
So how do we stop being distracted by our phones? Well, he joked, “there may be an app for that”.
If you are interested in more events like this, please also see Event 364 at 10am on Sunday 2 June.
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Picture by Matthew Harry