Continued Dialogue: Distractions for Juniors

My most recent question (which I continue to research) has been about Facebook and its distractions for juniors in the field during the work day. How can it assist professionalism and how can it harm professionalism.

Really how does this differ from a free-long-distance-phone-line of 20 years ago before employees had internet distractions available to them at work?

In 2007. I wrote about distractions for designers in general in the workplace in my MFA thesis Order from Chaos in Graphic Design.

In the last 15 years, paradigm shifts in technology and culture have elevated the way people have approached their processes of making in design, but graphic design in particular. Type can be flowed into text-boxes and specified (specked) in mere seconds. Layouts and grids can be created using computer programs in just a few minutes. Type and layout can be altered just as quickly for testing new typefaces and type styles and layouts. A designer can Google a typeface and know if it is historically relevant to a project while they simultaneously decide on its visual relevance. Design is fast now and clients have grown to expect faster turnarounds from their designers. It feels as if today, the majority of designers go straight to the computer to do pencil sketches and never actually pick up a pencil. While working, phone calls, e-mails and news briefs are constantly interrupting designers focal points while they are designing at their desks. All of these outside influences, which for the most part can be attributed to modern technology, affect a graphic designer’s process. Is this good or bad to graphic design as a whole?

The expected and canned answers are, “They would be fired!” or “Any junior designer designer worth their salt can time-manage for themselves”.

My question really is much bigger than those generalizations. Students of all kinds, good and bad, are facing massive distractions from the new forms of networking in society. How do we, as Seniors, (their managers, their Professors, their colleagues) help to guide them away from these distractions and not come off as curmudgeons?

Any commentary and feedback is very welcome.

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