Opinion: Dependency on distraction


Thousands of BYU students walk around campus every day with their phone glued in their hands and music blaring in their ears. Modern-day prophets and apostles have warned us about the dangers of distractions, but I personally did not realize its strong influence until recently.

I had the assignment this past week to avoid using any type of media for a day. This included social media, movies and music. Listening to music while walking around campus, doing the dishes or making food has become second nature, and without being able to listen, I learned how truly dependent I am on distraction.

Without media telling me what to think, I came to realize how loud my thoughts were —thoughts of comparisons and grades, thoughts that I was not enough or was not doing enough. I have become wholly reliant on music to drown out those thoughts instead of facing them and figuring them out.

It is so easy to pull out a phone and get onto one of many apps that will cover the clamor in our heads, but the advantages that come from this are only temporary. As President Russell M. Nelson stated when inviting Church members to a social media fast almost two years ago, we should try to “disengage from a constant reliance on social media.”

I encourage everyone to take out their earbuds while walking around campus, listen to the sounds of your surroundings and let thoughts naturally come. Face the world rather than using media as a tool to escape from it. Learn how to quell your negative thoughts without using music or media to do it for you, because there is no way to overcome adverse thoughts without direct confrontation.

—Allessandra Harris
Universe Editorial Assistant

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