The Culture of Distraction

“Excuse me, are you still working here?”

I asked this to the guy who was clearly in another world.

“Wha? Huh? Did you say something,” he replied.

“Yeah, I was wondering if you were done using the rack,” I asked again.

“Uhm, yeah, no go ahead, I’m done.”

I’d been watching him out of the corner of my eye as I was doing a warmup of multi-directional lunges, squats, leg swings and more, to see if he would do something in the power rack other than sending text messages on his cell phone.

After 5 minutes or so of limbering up and seeing him go nowhere, I approached him.

I also made it a point to count how many people I saw using their cell phone on the gym floor.

When I finished my workout, I’d counted a total of 8 people, out of maybe 20 or 30 in the gym total.

That’s a lot and it says a lot about where our society is going…

I’ve also noticed more and more people walking while texting or reading emails, oblivious to the world around them…

I’ve also seen more and more people at dinner or lunch together, where one person is talking and a phone beeps or blips and one of the two totally stops paying attention to the other person to attend to their needy little gadget.

This is a sad state of affairs how we as a society put more value on people trying to contact us, or stuff that’s going on elsewhere, than what is going on in the present moment.

If you’re going to workout, workout.

Focus on it. Be present with it. Don’t get distracted. You’ll get more out of it.

If you’re going to lunch with a friend, turn the cell phone off. Look them in the eyes. Connect with them.

If you’re going to walk down the street, walk. Don’t go in and out of the e-universe, changing speeds and directions randomly, messing with the rest of us who are aware of the world we’re in.

Oh wait, hold on…

I just got a phone call – talk to you later.


  • jul

    Reply Reply October 22, 2013

    I even can tell about myself, sometimes when i am willing to do smth one phone call, or media can make me forgotten about the specific thing. Thats why i decided to write about culture of distraction in my blog

  • Smurf

    Reply Reply September 10, 2012

    naw bro i keep my workout journal in my phone

  • Tim

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    Agree with everything your saying mate, it’s just ridiculous.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    I leave my phone at home, the gym is my time and i don’t want any person robbing me of my time. Bad enough you need to ask people to move of the coach… sorry bench press.. I BELIEVE that people need to stop and smell the roses, as life is to short to spend most of your time with some silican chip. talk/laugh and generally have and difference of opinion about anything and use one word that will blow someone away… like salubrious..!!

    • Steve

      Reply Reply September 9, 2012

      SALUBRIOUS= healthy, pleasant not run down.

      • Eric

        Reply Reply September 9, 2012

        Wow – your mastery of the english language is second-to-none!

  • Matt Solverson

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    I refuse to get a smart phone for this very reason. I’d rather talk to a person, than say what I need to behind a screen. People live in cyberspace more than the real world.

    • Eric

      Reply Reply September 9, 2012

      You my friend are a dying species nowadays.

  • Vince

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    It never helps if I have my phone with me exercising (usually just for time keeping), so a watch or timer is what I use now, though I lost my watch so just a timer…
    I don’t like how people always have their phones out, I find it pretty rude people checking them when you are socializing. Even worse is that they don’t see it as being anything wrong and just normal.
    Although I’m often one that rides the bus and walks to uni with my ipod on, it’s sometimes quite nice just to look and listen to the world surrounding and observing other people on their ipods, or get into a random conversation with a stranger

    • Eric

      Reply Reply September 9, 2012

      A conversation with a stranger? What???

      It’s coming to the point where you’re a weirdo if you look someone in the eye or smile at them now.

      • Greg

        Reply Reply October 3, 2012

        That is a said truth and I’m from New England,USA,(I may be stating the obvious with the USA part, but o-well) were we are known for being cold toward people.

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply September 8, 2012

    I always leave my phone in the locker. I tried using it as an MP3 player a few times (I need something to drone out the voice of Britney going on repeat on the gym speakers), but I get so thrown out of my zone with text and incoming calls. I also don’t understand how people can walk around in the streets so oblivious. So many possible threats to your well being, either a runaway car or a bad situation you don’t want to walk into.

    • Eric

      Reply Reply September 9, 2012


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