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The Self-Delusional Effectiveness of Texting Combined With Literally Any Other Activity

We’ve all felt the pull of the notification. The sound triggers something deep inside us, call it fear of missing out or the overwhelming desire to be a part of something in this moment, or maybe boredom with whatever you’re currently doing. I don’t really care, unless you’re immersed in adult-level activities that require your full attention. Things like doing heart surgery or landing an airplane, or maybe something more common like participating in a serious conversation or driving a two-ton automobile at terminal velocity.

Whatever that activity is, we aren’t as good at multitasking as we think we are. It’s usually completely obvious to everyone else not currently nose down in their own phone what the multitasking texter is up to. And we all want the other person to knock it off immediately and join us in the real world. Call me old-fashioned, but I like people who focus on the essential. Professionals and fully-functional adults stay focused on their most important tasks, while amateurs spread that focus way too thin.

I bet even Steve Jobs would have shaken his head in disbelief had he time travelled to our present. Try holding a meaningful conversation with a distracted texter Mr. Jobs, before we fully celebrate the computer in every pocket. The future always looks bright when you’re inventing the cool technology, the trick is to put the bumpers on so the amateurs don’t roll over into someone else’s dream. This is why I welcome self-driving cars, if only to put a stop to the chuckleheads absently drifting back and forth, slowing way down and speeding way up in a not-so-subtle attempt to still get from here to there while writing War and Peace (or perhaps simply watching cat videos). Maybe technology will save us from technology in the future? I hope we survive long enough to get there.

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One Comment

  1. Multitasking is not real. Until we accept that, our phones will cause us to ruin everything else that we are doing in our lives. You’re right. I’m honestly scared for the future—especially with AI. If a car can drive itself and I can have a whole conversation with SIRI, what’s to keep the robots they’ve been testing to become what I pass by in my morning walk to my 9-5?

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