Are New Media Workers Multi-Taskers?

When was the last time you were doing multiple things at the same time? A Washington Post article talks about how teens multitask with homework, video, phone calls, and Internet chatting. But I quickly realized that I pretty much to do it every day. It’s a necessity for working in New Media. You’re browsing in one window, with a blog editor in a split pane, and running 1-4, maybe more, chat windows with different collaborators or clients. You might even be talking with someone via Skype or SightSpeed.

This sort of multi-tasking activity becomes second nature for new media workers, and if you have a large enough screen, you can actually do it productively. Teens who multi-task their homework and interact online say they feel more productive. But experts are not so sure that this is a good thing for younger people:

There is special concern for teenagers because parts of their brain are still developing, said Jordan Grafman, chief of cognitive neuroscience at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Despite that, young students feel better because they can get the answer to a homework problem by firing up a chat session and asking a friend, or a friend of a friend. Since this sort of multitasking seems to be widespread, if there are any problems it’s not known how detrimental it’ll be. But if proves not to be a problem, I think we’ll have a generation of youth fully ready to handle the role of professional bloggers.

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