Tue, 07 Jan 2003 16:02:14 GMT

NetGens Doing More Faster?.

Multitasking Becomes Continuous Partial Attention

“Will the rapid access to a great deal of information, and to many information devices, exceed our abilities to handle both them and our lives?…

'It's not the same as multitasking; that's about trying to accomplish several things at once. With continuous partial attention, we're scanning incoming alerts for the one best thing to seize upon: “How can I tune in in a way that helps me sync up with the most interesting, or important, opportunity?… It's crucial for CEOs to be intentional about breaking free from continuous partial attention in order to get their bearings. Some of today's business books suggest that speed is the answer to today's business challenges. Pausing to reflect, focus, think a problem through; and then taking steady steps forward in an intentional direction is really the key.' ” [Smart Mobs]

Interestingly, they're also doing it much faster, which is making more difficult for the rest of us.

“This is one more way that the gap between old and young is widening as fast as the frequently noted gap between rich and poor. My father is frustrated not only by fast-paced commentator talk but also by countless other ways technology has made the world harder to navigate. When he makes a phone call to a business, he rarely encounters people he can ask to slow down, speak louder or explain what they said. Instead he gets menus that fly by too fast, are too hard to hear and offer choices that don't apply to the purpose of his call.” [The Washington Post]

And of course, last week Glenn Reynolds and his readers were reflecting on how this affects students in higher education (scroll up for more entries on the topic).

[The Shifted Librarian]

this is precisely what we should expect….