By Wally DuChateau
…and since we’re on the subject of microchips and the Digital Revolution…….
I can clearly recall an era without computers yet today I can’t possibly function without one. Still, relative to most people younger than 30, I’m a high-tech dinosaur. Hell, I don’t even have a cell phone, which decisively separates me from an entire generation of adults who are constantly available to everyone else in the wireless world – and can’t imagine life without such connections.
To some degree, the convenience of wireless communication contributes to our desire to talk on the cell phone while driving, text friends in the middle of dinner and check and answer e-mail while at work. And who hasn’t dealt with one of those awkward, multitasking moments when, simultaneously, you’re exploring porn on the laptop, talking to someone on your land-line phone and texting a message on the cell phone, while two or three e-mails arrive and you’re trying to follow the CSI plot on TV? Well, to answer that question, I haven’t.
My idea of multitasking is to read a magazine while sitting on the toilet.
Being connected, instantaneously, to everyone is the modern norm. You’re expected to be available, on the grid, 24/7. Within limits, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this. However, when people discover I’m not so connected, I wish they’d stop staring at me in a lapsed state of shock.
Being part of the Fred Flintstone era, I was sort of happy to read that research being conducted at several universities suggests “multitaskers” appear to have difficulty focusing on any single, particular chore. They also seem to remember less about the work they perform and are more easily distracted from tasks. In fact, many of them may have attention deficit disorder.
That’s not all. No one knows what consequences continuous cell phone talk-a-thons and tweeting at all times of the day and night are having on our psychological balance, families, work and social interactions. Furthermore, what ramifications do texting, talking and exploring the Internet, while plugged into a headset of thunderous Pearl Jam, have on a brain’s occasional need for calm and peaceful relaxation?
Behavioral scientists have started analyzing a few cases of possible “Internet addiction,” though they haven’t yet called it such. Nevertheless, in rare instances when teens are on the Internet every day for 30 or more hours a week, addiction might be the appropriate term.
So, if any of you out there are spending nearly every night barricaded in a room, mesmerized by the florescent glow of the computer screen, let me offer a little feeble advice: instead of blogging the details of your life, try getting one.