Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Myth of Multitasking or Why Don't You have a Dedicated Music Machine?

We all seem to be so busy these days. Often, we tell ourselves and others that we are "multitasking," which has become parlance for: "Doing a bunch of shit poorly all at the same time." When are we multitasking? All the time. Where are we multitasking? Everywhere.

People that text and drive claim to be "multitasking." They're really not. They're texting poorly and driving poorly. There have been several incidents where people are composing a text while walking and have led to serious or even fatal injuries. Talking on the phone while ironing, taking care of your child, doing work, or lovemaking is not multitasking. What you're doing here is diverting attention away from things, which, in their purest sense, require your undivided attention.

When I was growing up, I listened to music or talked on the phone while doing homework, and I can probably list the records I was listening to or the people I was speaking with more readily than recite the content and context of the homework I was doing. The reason for this is that I respond better to auditory stimulation than I do textual. That's probably why I became a musician as opposed to a writer.

It amazes me that with the amount of cheap technology available to so many people today, very few people have a dedicated music computer. I've always been passionate about music creation, and making music that means something requires complete concentration and dedication, which you cannot accomplish if the bottom right hand corner is filled with texts, IMs, and innane status updates of one form or another.

So, next time you're doing a combination of things really badly, instead of patting yourself on the back and thinking of yourself as a great multitasker, try doing the one thing you set out to do instead. There's a reason they serve junk food at cinemas. You can't enjoy a film and good food at the same time.

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