The Shallows Part 2

Multitasking

I scored 1.67, or 92% correct, on the test with two distractions; I scored 100% on the test with six. As indicated on the results page, this is more or less where low multitaskers score, while high multitaskers score much lower when faced with a larger number of distractions. Since I would far and away consider myself a low multitasker, this seems reasonable. In fact, this makes my reluctance to multitask pleasantly justifiable in the face of the extreme pride those who grew up on my generation seems to find in being overstimulated.

As is apparent, I prefer not to multitask. I become easily frustrated with the feeling that only surface-level thinking is going on, and that I'm not comprehending either of the items at hand. While multitasking can be good for tasks that are muscle habit, such as eating or running while studying or listening to an audiobook, I find it near impossible for homework or interpersonal relationships; I wouldn't risk anything I consider important by multitasking while I'm working on it. I close out of Facebook when I'm writing a paper, and I close my computer altogether when I'm talking to a friend. Call me crazy, but I still prefer the physical versions of books, without hyperlinks and with the feeling of comprehension when I'm reading that is much harder for me to obtain online. That being said, the allure of multitasking is entirely understandable. I simply don't have the time I'd like, and sometimes it just seems like the better option. I think what's most important is knowing when it's appropriate to multitask (which could be different times for different people) and being aware of it when you're doing it, rather than assuming you're getting the full content of an article by reading the first three sentences.

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