Why, I don't recognize myself in a word of this...
And of course it's a world where people try to navigate parking lots and perform other challenging maneuvers with one hand while the other blocks half their vision with a cell phone held to their ear. Or figures it's smart to go slow while texting in the fast lane.
“We didn’t enter this research trying to beat on multitaskers but to find out their talent,’’ says Ness. “And we found out they had none.’
Nass has yet to study whether they were bad at paying attention to begin with or were driven to distraction. But there’s a suspicion, he says, that “we may be breeding a generation of kids whose ability to pay attention may be destroyed.’’
Before I exhale in relief and bond with others waving this research in front of their children’s (distracted) faces, a couple of things have to be noted. First, as Nass ruefully says, many multitaskers believe they are the efficient exception. They can talk and chew e-mails at the same time. Second, the simultaneous media immersion has become the new norm. This is what normal looks like....
It’s a world in which people walk together side by side talking separately on cell phones. Where you hear the click of a friend’s keyboard while you’re talking on the phone. And where Nass recently watched two students holding a serious conversation while one surfed the Net.
But, of course, I've never done ANY of those things. And my powers of concentration are.... uh, honey, have you seen my keys?