Day 19

I had an interesting interaction with a friend today.  I was video chatting with him when I noticed he was distracted and typing on his computer.  He said he was Googling the topic we were talking about, but that he was still listening to me.  This lead to a longer discussion.  When talking to someone in video chat much like a phone call, online chatting, or emailing you can communicate with multiple people at once.  So my friend put me to the test to see how well I could manage having two conversations at once.  He started typing a chat to me while we were video chatting.  He challenged me to keep up both conversations.  I failed miserably.  He somehow excelled and even posted something on my twitter and my facebook pages while I was trying to keep up with him.  But for the record, I don’t think any of the communicating we were doing would be considered a conversation.

I have found since I have been in here, my multi-tasking skills are lacking.  I thought that because I wouldn’t be working while I was in here that I would have time to slow down my life and focus on one thing at a time.  I have to multi-task a million things at once for work and I always feel a sense of relief when I job wraps .  I am feeling that way about technology right now.  In order to be really social in the digital world I have been using everything all at once.  I haven’t set parameters, but now I am thinking I should.

In here a lot of what I am multi-tasking is communication with people.  I don’t think that I am doing it that well and I am pretty sure people notice that I am trying to keep up multiple conversations or doing other tasks while communicating with them.  After reading this article about muti-talking and how it effects us, I have decided that for the remainder of the time I am in here, I am going to do my best to only have one conversation at time and only focus on one task at time.  So no more answering text messages while on a video chat calls, no more emailing someone while also posting a status update on facebook, and no more making dinner while doing research – that’s how I end up burning dinner anyway.

5 Responses to “Day 19”

  1. portlandsun Says:

    this mommy blogger thinks its so cool what you are doing

  2. Heather Grace Stewart Says:

    Such an interesting blog post. How are you succeeding so far? I would often burn dinner because I was always checking FB–another reason why I left!

    It’s so rare to find someone today who’s focused solely on the conversation at hand even in the non-cyber world! Right now I’m on my laptop and watching TV.

    I really think social networking is changing how we communicate. Perhaps older people still look you in the eyes…. But that’s about it–usually people are multitasking when you talk to them–checking their phones, laptops, watches. I like spending time with my daughter who’s 5 because she doesn’t multi-task yet. She’s always so focused on our conversations or the art we’re doing together. And she has decided to tell me, if I have my laptop on my lap while she’s doing art and she’s trying to get my attention, “Mommy, please listen, please look at me!” Talk about tearing at the heartstrings. It works though–I usually close up the laptop and pay attention. These days are fleeting…

    I’m really enjoying following your project and your blog. My FB withdrawl is over (only took two weeks to feel like I wasn’t missing anything), I’m enjoying interacting more with visitors to my blog instead, and have more time to surf fascinating web sites like this one.


  3. Matt Says:

    Well, we emailed about this in the past, and it’s really interesting to see how this is playing out for you. You say you don’t think your multi-tasking skills are lacking, but the truth is that the research says we are all terrible at it. What’s more, the more we do it, the worse we become. I wonder if the constant stream you’ve seen since starting this project has made it harder for you?

    I am very excited to see if you’re able to uni-task while using social media. I’ve been trying to improve my focus in general, and all of my efforts have been about limiting social media in various ways. For someone in a position where you can’t really limit the streams of information like I’m doing, I think it will be a real challenge to focus on one thing at a time.

    Can you believe you’re ten days from the end?


  4. Jacki Semerau Says:

    Such interesting perspective! It’s true, multi-tasking is not only encouraged, but glorified in the tech age. Like a society that glorifies ADD, and frowns upon being fully present in the moment. I’m looking forward to reading about your experience as you focus on one thing at a time during your social media experiment. What you’re doing is fantastic!

  5. Theresa Says:

    Meditation is helpful in developing single-pointed concentration. One can start by just watching the breath–just observing the feeling at the tip of the nose while inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils. It’s something we have with us all the time…always available, no technology needed.

    Keep up the good work. xoxo

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Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott