Fact is that we’ve eagerly bought the shoddy goods of multitasking. As a species, humans are terrible at it. Start by watching wrecks and near wrecks as drivers using cell phones career at each other and slam on the brakes (usually in time). Less dangerous and more common and certainly amusing see pedestrians on sidewalks or indoors walking into each other or walls as they try to ambulate and talk or text into the smartphone. It’s good perhaps that the phone is smart if the users are not.
Doubters’ Resource. Start with the collection of data and studies from around the nation and world at the National Safety Council here.
I run down some stats â€” how dangerous using phones while driving is, and that hands-free use is no safer. I talk about why we were even introduced to the idea that we can, should and must multitask. Alas, unlike a PC, we can’t get a retrofit of more RAM and a faster CPU. We really are trying to switch sequential tasks instantly. Our brains can’t do it. Multitasking is at best an illusion and at worst a deluision.
I go into a little background of CEO/manager think that led to the multitasking mythology. Bill Gates? Yes, Microsoft has been a primary villain here, promoting its Office and other software with a fantasy that every employee is a multitasker and is robbing the company if she or he isn’t working on many duties at the same time all day and every day.