The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gen M

An article in Times this week has stated that this generation has become so able to rapidly toggle between tasks that often times we feel as though we are able to do two or more things at once when in reality, we are simply multitasking at an extremely fast pace. There were a few aspects of the article that really got my attention:

  • The article states: “Teenagers who fill every quiet moment with a phone call or some kind of e-stimulation may not be getting that needed reprieve. Habitual multitasking may condition their brain to an overexcited state, making it difficult to focus even when they want to.” I see this every day- not only in school, but in my own life. I know that I am unable to carry on a normal phone conversation when I am on the computer, I am unable to read (effectively) while listening to music, etc. I've also found that it is very difficult for me to sit still- no conversations, no computer, no phone, no TV- for very long. My shower in the morning is probably the only time that I am not getting in some kind of stimulus. I can't imagine that this is a good thing for my poor little brain.
  • "When people try to perform two or more related tasks either at the same time or alternating rapidly between them, errors go way up, and it takes far longer- often double the time or more- to get the jobs done than if they were done sequentially." If this is true, I'd estimate I make at least 1,400 mistakes in any given work day.
  • "Thousands of years of evolution created human physical communication-facial expressions, body language- that puts broadband to shame in its ability to convey meaning and create bonds. What happens as we replace side-by-side and eye-to-eye human connections with quick, disembodied e-exchanges?" This constant ability to have everyone and anyone available to talk to in a variety of formats (phone, IM, email, text message), at all times of the day, has created a kind of interpersonal ADD.

Don't get me wrong- I love modern technology and gadgetry. It allows me to continue relationships with people that otherwise would have fallen by the wayside, simply because they're far away. It helps to keep me connected to people. But I've come to the realization that when I am with someone, having a conversation, I don't feel this pull towards electronic media. And that's a little bit of a relief- that I can have personal connections without having my cell phone attached to my hip and without checking myspace comments every hour.


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I blog and "work" at the same time.

10:39 AM


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