Multi-tasking could be a terrible thing for our social life. For all our talk of interactive and conversations, we’re quietly downgrading our brains to Short Attention Span Interaction mode.
The long conversations we used to have on the phone and the face time we give our colleagues and friends are being overtaken by our capacity for IM, to micro-chat, and replace a lot of real conversations with virtual reality formats. We embrace social media, but it has a way of making us un-sociable as well. You may be doing some of this multi-tasking already; I am guilty of many as well.
- Glancing at Blackberry during a business lunch or date, with the occasional “I have to take this…”
- Scheduling conversations during commute, creating an elegant way to abruptly end a conversation with “you’re breaking. Let’s talk later.”
- Chatting on IM when a phone call will work better -so that you can browse the web at the same time without getting caught.
- Getting distracted while talking to your spouse on the phone because of a super urgent email you’re responding to.
- Complaining that someone (usually a family member) was dumb enough to write you a real letter that she could have easily condensed it into an email.
- Cutting off an employee interview in 20 minutes because of a ‘Blackberry urgency’ even though the candidate just started opening up.