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The Myth Of Multi-Tasking…

Read this, while not in a meeting…

Then again, perhaps we will simply adjust and come to accept what James called “acquired inattention.” E-mails pouring in, cell phones ringing, televisions blaring, podcasts streaming—all this may become background noise, like the “din of a foundry or factory” that James observed workers could scarcely avoid at first, but which eventually became just another part of their daily routine. For the younger generation of multitaskers, the great electronic din is an expected part of everyday life. And given what neuroscience and anecdotal evidence have shown us, this state of constant intentional self-distraction could well be of profound detriment to individual and cultural well-being. When people do their work only in the “interstices of their mind-wandering,” with crumbs of attention rationed out among many competing tasks, their culture may gain in information, but it will surely weaken in wisdom.

One Response

  1. By JMac on June 18th, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    And interesting idea was presented at the GCI Social Media Immersion: perhaps the agility of their minds are being flexed. I am certain my capacity to do high-level abstract thinking has doulbed in the last 4 years due to internet media onslaught. And I am one of those that thrives on riding the edge, bleeding or cutting.

    Mono-tasking is a new skill I am working on, flexing and falling down on. And along with mindful stillness I am trying to slow things down so I can focus longer slices of attention without interruption.

    So perhaps the din cuts both ways.

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