The Myth of Multitasking

Today’s technology has given us the opportunity to do more and all at the same time.  The problem is it was originally thought that technology would give us more free time.  That by being able to accomplish more it would give us more time to think, time to be with family etc.  Instead, it has caused society as a whole to cram more in.  This lifestyle of “multitasking” has caused us to be more distracted and allows us to not think, just do.  A great example of this is because I can now check my email on my phone, I will catch myself reading an email while my child is asking me a question.  It is easy to half pay attention to both.  Then I miss what my child what truly asking me as well as some times having to reread the email.  Sadly, I can even be frustrated with my child for interrupting me.  When if I wasn’t attempting to “multitask” and paid attention to the task at hand, then there would be no feeling of frustration towards my child.  I would truly be able to listen to what they were saying.  If we aren’t careful we can do this in a lot of areas.

Isaac Newton said, “there is a need for each of us to mature by transitioning from youthful distraction to the discipline of mature long term attention.”  Dr Archibald Hart applies it to our digital era when he writes, “What is unfortunate about our digital world is that unless its use is disciplined, where parents take control of their child’s digital world, it can never develop the level of attention that maturity demands.”

It is important for us as parents to set the example and not spend our lives attempting to multitask and miss out on the task at hand, our children.