Has the smartphone limited attention spans or increased access to knowledge?

You’re at a coffee shop catching up on emails. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a TV advertisement about buying a car. “Oh!” you think, “I need to check my bank account to ensure my car payment went through.” 

When you look at your phone, you have a notification: “sussanagara liked your photo.” You instinctively open Instagram and look at the photo. But wait…you opened your phone to check your bank account. Then, a new work email pops up. Oh, and now your mom is calling…”  

Have you ever had a similar experience to this one? Most people have. In the digital age, people receive non-stop “pings” and “dings” from their devices. Smartphone notifications can make it challenging to stay focused on anything for long periods.

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