I found the term ‘weapons of mass distraction’ in the article titled “Social Networking in the 1600s” in the Sunday Review section of June 22 New York Times, which begins with;
“Social networks stand accused of being enemies of productivity. According to one popular infographic circulating online, the use of Facebook, Twitter and other such sites at work costs the American economy $650 billion each year. Our attention spans are atrophying, our test scores declining, all because of these “weapons of mass distraction.”
Though ‘weapons of mass distraction’ appears in quote in the above statement, this is obviously a play of word with ‘weapons of mass destruction.’
As I thought ‘weapons of mass distraction’ a smart and punchy word I’d like to use, I consulted both Cambridge and Oxford English dictionaries. They carry ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ but not ‘weapons of mass distraction.’
Whilst Google Ngram shows that ‘weapons of mass distraction’ emerged around 1970 and its usage has been shooting up since 1997, but its currency is still at 0.00000015% level.
Does the term ‘weapons of mass distraction’ pass as an established set of word to be easily understood among English speaking community without adding “quote, unquote” in conversation when we are referring to mass-media, social networking media and entertainment contents on mobile phones?