Multitask by Steve Leggat
People are generally extremely confident in their ability to multitask but Aza Raskin points out in the following article that you can’t actually multitask. What you are actually doing is cycling through tasks in quick succession which he warns comes at the risk of losing your train of thought. This results in lower productivity, lower information retention, and in the case of driving while using your mobile, possible disaster.
We can talk on a cell phone while driving to work, and we can compose complex sentences while typing. But, if you stop to reflect on it, you can only do those things at the same time because at least one of them is automatic. In the first case driving is automatic, and in the second case typing is automatic. You’ve done them so often that you’ve habituated to them: doing them doesn’t require any thinking. Can you still talk on your cell phone while driving through a rainstorm on unfamiliar roads? Would you still be able to concentrate on writing if you had just switched to a Dvorak keyboard? I didn’t think so.
In both cases the extreme situation frustrates your habits and forces you to actively think about what you are doing at the expense of your other task. When you are thinking about driving safely in adverse conditions, you can’t also hold a conversation. And while you’re searching for the “e” key, you can’t also compose the next line of your sonnet.
You Can’t Multitask by Aza Raskin
The following is a short series of photos of people multitasking to various degrees with their mobile phones. It’s a frustratingly short series as finding photographs without a strict license is almost as difficult as going out in the field and shooting the photographs myself.
Can’t stop a man with a mission by Malingering
Kurt Cobain is alive by Urban Gazelle
Changes by Carlo Nicora
Walking the dog, talking on the phone, and drinking coffee by San Diego Shooter
Tantek Multitasking by Thomas Hawk
Multitasking by foreverdigital
Writing email on Blackberry while driving by cabbit
Zeitgeist by Jari Schroderus
Multitasking by spaceninja
Multitasking by Laurel Fan