Session Spotlight

Emmy Cao

Camp Counselor

ADHD and Attention in the Digital World

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024 - 10:00 PM UTC, for 1 hour.

Regular, 60 minute presentation

Room: Campsite 3

As developers, we spend a big chunk of our lives on the computer. We spend a lot of time thinking about and being on the internet, and are ultimately the builders of the digital world. However, spending so much time online has consequences. To begin the talk, I'll be going over my personal struggles with online gaming addiction and what my ADHD diagnosis taught me about my relationship with technology. Next, we'll dive into what ADHD is and how it affects people. This will mostly include knowledge about ADHD that is lesser known by the public, and debunk a lot of the myths which have perpetuated over the years. We'll learn the physiological basis of attention, and learn why people with ADHD have trouble regulating their attention. By understanding what ADHD is and why it causes certain behaviors, we'll be able to better understand the ADHD-like traits which everyone experiences in their daily lives, like distractibility and inability to sustain focus. People are struggling with these traits more and more, and their struggles are highly correlated to increased digital consumption. We'll talk about how technology affects our brains, and how that translates to our behavior and ultimately, our mental health and what our lives look like. Finally, we'll conclude by thinking about what we can do in the future now that we're equipped with this knowledge of human attention. This will include what it means to make attention-friendly digital products in terms of user experience, as well as what we can do to support neurodivergent people and improve mental health in the tech industry. This talk will help us build empathy for neurodivergent people and also help us be more forgiving of ourselves and each other when we're unable to be "productive enough". It will help us understand how institutionalized society and a capitalism-driven internet punish the way our brains work, especially ADHD and neurodivergent brains. Regardless of if you have ADHD, this knowledge and empathy will help us understand our own struggles with attention at work, and be more mindful of our relationship with technology. This will help us care for the people around us in both the home and workplace, and become responsible consumers AND creators of technology.

favorited by:
Samuel Goff Nerando Johnson Chris Nowicki Micha Rodriguez Ankita Sood John Robideaux Pj Metz Anthony Lusardi Roxana Rodriguez-Becker Jasmin Alvarez Adam Morsa Caleb Jenkins Jesse Hall Adam Porter Linda Thompson Jordan Lamoreaux Ellie Zubrowski Arana Fireheart Abbey Perini