Scott Davies

Finding Meaning in a Life of Distraction: An Essay

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but unfortunately other things have popped up. Like WhatsApp notifications, and Instagram notifications, and TikTok notifications. Oh, and Facebook notifications. And I heard about this one docu-series on Netflix, which was absolutely incredible. 

So, I must apologise if this comes across disjointed or if my thoughts seem erratic, but that’s because it is, and they are, I guess.

I have just returned to this document. Believe it or not, this is the fifth time I have worked on this thing, and I’ve only got this far, thus far. 

I find it hard to focus because people keep talking to me, or texting me, or calling me, and then when I get back to write this, I find that actually, my heart just isn’t in it and I wonder instead what hashtag is trending on Twitter, or whether my reel got any likes on Instagram, or if anyone new liked my page on Facebook.

I have a page on Facebook. You should really check that out.


I had to have a break again. I realised I hadn’t done my Arrow Word puzzle, and anyway, it was lunch time. I hadn’t made any lunch, so I had to go out to buy some. I had the time to prepare lunches, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I did something else with that time, I guess.

What I did with it remains a mystery. Couldn’t tell ya. But I must have enjoyed it, because the time seems to have just disappeared this weekend!

Not that we did anything. We didn’t go anywhere, or see anyone, although I did see this one interesting clip in my Facebook Stories about how one of my neighbours went to the beach and a seagull stole their ice cream. Funny stuff. It was like I was there with them, so I didn’t really have to go to the beach did I? I kinda went with them, didn’t I?


Sorry. Back now. 

The problem with distractions is that they compound, I guess. One minute you’re taking a toilet break and 30 minutes later your legs are cold and numb, and you’re watching a video about how you can use the top half of a water bottle and some cement to make a water feature in your garden on a budget. One distraction leads you to another. Well, I’m sat down on the toilet, what now? Ah, I’ll just check my… Oh, I see. Dinner time, already. 

Sometimes I think these phones might be melting our brains, but then Joe Rogan drops some truth bombs and that thought just seems to fizz away somewhere between me reading about how the pyramids were built using ultra-high-tech equipment that was blown to pieces by a meteorite and the meme I found about Hilary Clinton’s email inbox.


Sorry, my wife wanted me to get off the toilet and help out with something or other. Doesn’t she know I’m busy?

It has so far taken me two weeks to write this, but it isn’t my fault. It’s not like I’m procrastinating or anything, it’s just that life is chaotic right now.

My iPhone just told me my screen time is down two hours from last week to an average of 7 hours 52 minutes a day, so that should tell you just how busy I’ve been this week.  Two hours a day busier than last week! Crazy! Anyway, I gotta go, I hear Logan Paul is dropping a video on YouTube and I just know people are gonna be talking about it.


Have you seen that one where the guy says, he says, well I’ll tag you in it.


Sorry. Sorry. It happened again. I’m back now though.  It’s just… well, I saw an article on Medium about how too much time typing can cause carpel tunnel and I thought, you know what, I really need to get away from the keyboard, so I’ve spent some quality time away from the computer just relaxing and flicking through TikTok. There is some wild stuff on there, let me tell you.

I heard the Chinese get a different version of TikTok to us. Does anyone know if it’s true? All their viral content is about engineering, and all ours is silly dances and guys talking to themselves, except half of the time they have a towel on their head and speak in a ladies voice so we think they’re two separate characters? I had a look on Twitter to see what I could find out, but I fell down a Donald Trump shaped rabbit hole… again.


Thoughts of Trump made me think about that one gif where he does that thing with his chin, and it reminded me of my wife because she does that face a lot, so I had to find it and WhatsApp it to her, but I accidentally sent it to a group chat we’re both in instead of to her privately, so then I had to explain the whole joke to everyone. Everyone sent laughing emoji faces, but I know they didn’t really laugh, they just sent them to be polite.


Mum called. Childhood dog dead. Popped a status on Facebook about it with a photo of him and a few lines about him being a good boy. Got 12 likes and 3 comments. Feel lucky to have so much support around me at this difficult time.


The point really about this whole article was how to focus in an era of distractions. I’ll get to it, I promise.


Discipline, I hear, isn’t like motivation.  Motivation comes and goes, but discipline is forever. Some of us have it, some of us don’t. We weak, poor people, that’s what’s wrong with us. We aren’t disciplined like the 1-percenters. We have motivation, sure. We decide we need to get in shape so we buy some trainers from Amazon and an arm strap for our phone from Amazon and a water bottle from Amazon, and Jeff Bezos sits back in his luxurious chaise lounge, upholstered in tiger skin, and he laughs into his cigar. But then right around the 3rd run mark the shoes and the arm strap and the water bottle are put away in their respective cupboards and forgotten about. This is the dip in motivation, which always comes when a peasant decides to do anything of merit. But discipline is when a rich man goes for his 4th run and his ab muscles pop out. Except I’m running around the block with house windows boarded over after a foreclosure, and Jeff Bezos is running on a private beach someplace sunny, the absolute legend.


Oh, I should probably have mentioned that I have kids. Two little girls. I’m so proud of them. They don’t distract me too much, though. They like to sit on their iPad or watch Netflix. Time with them is much easier to stay focused on, on account of their kamikaze attitude to things like traffic or swimming pools. You kinda have to keep a constant eye on them because, legally, you’re required to keep them away from situations that turn them into a flat smear in the middle of the road. So I guess you could say, they keep me focused. And hey, you know what, I’ve come to not mind it much, either.  They’re pretty cool kids, and they do some pretty funny stuff. One time, my eldest daughter laughed, but she kept her mouth shut and this huge slug-sized snot ball shot out of her nose and rested right on her lip, and I laughed so much I nearly crashed the car. They’re good kids, and they’re just like me.  I’m pretty sure they’ll go viral at some point and be really, really famous influencers and live in rented houses, with rented cars, and own nothing, and owe nothing, and that’s true financial freedom. I learned all about it online ages ago.

Anyway, gotta go, an influencer just went Live on Instagram, and I don’t want to miss out on that!

Now, what was I saying?