While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress.
And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers.
But, maybe there is hope. Check this out from the Chicago Tribune
A friend of mine in her early 20s managed to poke a finger through the tissue-thin argument that iPads, Kindles and Nooks are just as good as books, that reading is reading, that content is all that matters.
She and her classmates at the University of Notre Dame were invited to the home of a revered professor. It was a gleaming palace of erudition, she said: Room after room was filled with elegant floor-to-ceiling bookcases; each bookcase was filled with beautiful volumes; each volume seemed to glow with the written legacy of the world's wisdom.
It was, she recalled, breathtaking.
Reveling in all of this, my friend had a sudden, unsettling thought: What if, instead of the soaring bookcases, the professor's home had featured a card table with a Kindle on it?
The content might be the same — vast storage capacity is one of the chief selling points of new technologies — but how different it would be in terms of spiritual sustenance.
I'm glad that this anecdote comes from an undergraduate, because if it emerged from a creaky old coot — e.g., me — you'd dismiss it as the ill-tempered rant of a curmudgeon who needs to double up on the Advil and the Benefiber. The truth is, however, that many people, regardless of age, are feeling nostalgic these days for book culture.
Of course, if their brains have been rewired by too much Internet, what good will all the books do? Ah well, progress has always been a mixed bag...