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ADHD and Digital Communication Hurdles

Digital communication is an ADHD immediate gratification dream and a distraction nightmare. Living with ADHD can turn the digital communication molehill into a mountain of daunting tasks, akin to navigating a labyrinth of distractions and impulses.

A really important message we have decided to prioritise can become a victim of our distraction by other messages and our subsequent failure to respond. Any other notification may come in,  or we may be distracted by carefully calculated social media or advertising algorithms, which makes us forget about the original message completely. Alternatively, we may become so engrossed in a digital conversation that we lose track of time and neglect other responsibilities as we chat with a friend online and completely forget about a work deadline, or lose our friends as we never switch off from work.

Sometimes we may impulsively send off a response without fully thinking it through and then later regret what we sent and wish we had taken a moment to pause and consider our response before hitting send. But, on other occasions we might put off responding to messages or completing tasks, leading to more and different stresses.

Interpreting non-verbal cues in digital communication, such as text messages or emails, is also challenging because these cues, like facial expressions and tone of voice, are absent. Without these cues, understanding the full context of a conversation becomes difficult. For example, sarcasm and humour can be misinterpreted, leading to misunderstandings. Cultural differences can also complicate interpretation. The careful attention that is required for us to give to language and context to avoid misunderstandings can be exhausting.

Information overload is a constant struggle.

With emails, texts, social media notifications, and more, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Even in our school, study and work environments we are bombarded by information on multiple platforms, we have to remember what information was provided where and by whom. Recognising these challenges  is crucial, as it enables us to implement strategies to enhance our digital communication effectiveness.

By getting assistance adopting a structured approach to integrate, conceptualise, and to manage the different digital channels while being mindful of obstacles, we can learn to navigate the digital landscape with less stress and  more success.


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