Ways to Navigate the Digital World When You Have a Short Attention Span

Tips on how to allow for positive technology use without losing focus.

Teens using cellphones during school.

(Xavier Lorenzo / Shutterstock.com)

Today, people are more connected than ever before. They are using screens for work, school and in their personal lives too. While this has made many aspects of life easier, it has also made it more difficult in some ways too. 

Constant beeps for texts, WhatsApp messages and emails from phones and computers can be distracting for anyone. Navigating the digital world can be difficult for all people; especially so for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a blog on The Center for Mindful Psychotherapy’s website 

What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, that involves persistent symptoms that include some or all of these: hyperactivity, difficulty in paying attention, and poor impulse control, according to Everyday Health.  Without proper diagnosis and treatment, ADHD can cause problems in work, school, and in relationships.

Unfortunately the digital world with all its benefits also contains distractions like games, apps, and social media that are designed to be addictive. This  frequently causes people with ADHD to “doomscroll” and lose track of time,  according to the Rich Octopus blog.

Living with ADHD in the digital age is like navigating an endless labyrinth. But there are strategies that will allow for positive technology use without losing attention and focus.

Strategies for mindful technology use
Implementing mindful technology use practices are vital for people with ADHD. These include setting clear goals and boundaries for use. One of these is optimizing their digital diet and limiting time spent online.

People who are suffering a tech addiction, should delete the games and apps that suck them in and don’t let go.  They can also customize their notifications to minimize distractions. Afterall, who really needs to know what their friend ate for lunch?

Technology can also be used as a tool for empowerment for people with ADHD. There are new therapeutic video games and productivity apps that were designed to enhance focus and control. There are also apps for managing tasks and time that can help keep a person with ADHD on track.

Parenting an ADHD child in the digital age
Parents of children with ADHD have a unique set of challenges. With the allure of smartphones, online entertainment, and social media, according to The Center for Mindful Psychotherapy organization, it is hard to keep ADHD children from being distracted and impulsive. Developing the right balance between screen time and other activities could become a battleground if not handled delicately.

There are also concerns about children being cyberbullied on social media and that excessive screen time will affect academic achievement and could also lead to tech addictions. That’s why digital navigation is so vitally important, especially for teens.

Parents of ADHD kids need to create tech-free zones that are engaging and hold attention. ADHD children must have consistent routines and technology can be a part of it if it is used responsibly. The most important thing is to find a healthy balance that works and to stick to it. Learning how to navigate the digital world is an important life lesson for people of all ages.

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