Digital Overload Is Frying Our Brains | Wired Science from Wired.com
It's not a pretty picture: a never-ending stream of phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, text messages and tweets is part of an institutionalized culture of interruption, and makes it hard to concentrate and think creatively.
Studies show that information workers now switch tasks an average of every three minutes throughout the day. This degree of interruption is correlated with stress and frustration and lowered creativity.
"Paying attention isn't a simple act of self-discipline, but a cognitive ability with deep neurobiological roots — and this complex faculty, says Maggie Jackson, is being woefully undermined by how we're living. In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, Jackson explores the effects of "our high-speed, overloaded, split-focus and even cybercentric society" on attention. It's not a pretty picture: a never-ending stream of phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, text messages and tweets is part of an institutionalized culture of interruption, and makes it hard to concentrate and think creatively. Of course, every modern age is troubled by its new technologies. "The telegraph might have done just as much to the psyche [of] Victorians as the Blackberry does to us," said Jackson. "But at the same time, that doesn't mean that nothing has changed. The question is, how do we confront our own challenges?" Wired.com talked to Jackson about attention and its loss."
The other important thing is to discuss interruption as an environmental question and collective social issue. In our country, stillness and reflection are not especially valued in the workplace. The image of success is the frenetic multitasker who doesn't have time and is constantly interrupted. By striving towards this model of inattention, we're doing ourselves a tremendous injustice.Play Multitask, a free online game on Kongregate
So, you think you can multitask?
This game is rad.
this is the most exciting game ever. no. really.
"Think you can handle multiple games at once? See just how coordinated you are."Multitasking Muddles Brains, Even When the Computer Is Off | Wired Science | Wired.com
In several benchmark tests of focus, college students who routinely juggle many flows of information, bouncing from e-mail to web text to video to chat to phone calls, fared significantly worse than their low-multitasking peers.
Some people suspect that a multitasking lifestyle has changed how they think, leaving them easily distracted and unable to concentrate even when separated from computers and phones. Their uneasiness may be justified. In several benchmark tests of focus, college students who routinely juggle many flows of information, bouncing from e-mail to web text to video to chat to phone calls, fared significantly worse than their low-multitasking peers.Stanford study: Media multitaskers pay mental price
[Multitaskers are] "suckers for irrelevancy. Everything distracts them." "They couldn't help thinking about the task they weren't doing," Ophir said. "The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can't keep things separate in their minds."
You might think a lot gets done when you multitask, but a study conducted by Stanford researchers Eyal Ophir, Clifford Nass and Anthony Wagner says it isn't so.
People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time, a group of Stanford researchers has found.FRONTLINE: digital nation: watch the full program | PBS
M.I.T. students are among the world's smartest and most wired. They constantly multitask with their tech tools.
Digital Nation | Life on the virtual frontier. A documentary from PBSFindings - Ear Plugs to Lasers - The Science of Concentration - NYTimes.com
Review of "Rapt" by Winifred Gallagher -- focuses on the culture of distraction
For the focused life, forget multitasking and try meditating.
The book’s theme, which Ms. Gallagher chose after she learned she had an especially nasty form of cancer, is borrowed from the psychologist William James: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.”How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking - Peter Bregman - Harvard Business Review
How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking - Peter Bregman - Harvard Business Review http://bit.ly/d43fuV
During a conference call with the executive committee of a nonprofit board on which I sit, I decided to send an email to a client. I know, I know. You'd think I'd have learned. Last week I wrote about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. Multitasking is dangerous. And so I proposed a way to stop.Why I Returned My iPad - Peter Bregman - Harvard Business Review
Peter Bregman returns iPad for boredom, spending time w/8YO daughter, laughing, talking, letting minds just wander. http://bit.ly/c3FR6G
come on bro, contain yourself
Sappy with good points about getting away from being connected 100% of the time "Why I returned my iPad" from HBR: http://bit.ly/8WXvQH – Akash Pathak (apathak) http://twitter.com/apathak/statuses/16556395104
blog about boundary blurring!
Being bored is a precious thing, a state of mind we should pursue. Once boredom sets in, our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting to land on. And that's where creativity arises. My best ideas come to me when I am unproductive. When I am running but not listening to my iPod. When I am sitting, doing nothing, waiting for someone. When I am lying in bed as my mind wanders before falling to sleep. These "wasted" moments, moments not filled with anything in particular, are vital.Unboxed - Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social - NYTimes.com
the speed with which we can follow the trail of an idea, or discover new perspectives on a problem, has increased by several orders of magnitude. We are marginally less focused, and exponentially more connected.
“THE point of books is to combat loneliness,” David Foster Wallace observes near the beginning of “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself,” David Lipsky’s recently published, book-length interview with him.
is it good or bad?
It’s no accident that most of the great scientific and technological innovation over the last millennium has taken place in crowded, distracting urban centers. The printed page itself encouraged those manifold connections, by allowing ideas to be stored and shared and circulated more efficiently. One can make the case that the Enlightenment depended more on the exchange of ideas than it did on solitary, deep-focus reading. Quiet contemplation has led to its fair share of important thoughts. But it cannot be denied that good ideas also emerge in networks.
many great ideas that have advanced culture over the past centuries have emerged from a more connective space, in the collision of different worldviews and sensibilities, different metaphors and fields of expertise. (Gutenberg himself borrowed his printing press from the screw presses of Rhineland vintners, as Mr. Carr notes.)
If you happen to be reading the book on the Kindle from Amazon, Mr. Wallace’s observation has an extra emphasis: a dotted underline running below the phrase. Not because Mr. Wallace or Mr. Lipsky felt that the point was worth stressing, but because a dozen or so other readers have highlighted the passage on their Kindles, making it one of the more “popular” passages in the book.AJ Jacobs: My colossal task burden | Life and style | The Guardian
AJ Jacobs: My colossal task burden - loved this article! http://bit.ly/bcwvQx
Is multi-tasking bad for you? As somebody who suffers from a chronic butterfly mind, I do wonder whether becoming a a 'uni-tasker' wouldn't be a bad idea. A thought provoking and amusing read.
As a counterpoint to the NYTimes article, AJ Jacobs on his experiment living life with no multitasking http://bit.ly/bhMVL9
When AJ Jacobs learned multitasking was bad for you, he decided to kick his chronic addiction to mental juggling. Get ready for Operation Focus…Understanding iOS 4 Backgrounding and Delegate Messaging @ Dr. Touch
with cut-out-and-keep full colour charts.Understanding iOS 4 Backgrounding and Delegate Messaging @ Dr. Touch
with cut-out-and-keep full colour charts.