When it comes to multitasking, I have always known that it is not a thing, at least not for me. When I want to focus on my work, I always prefer to be in a calm quiet space where I can concentrate. Working while having distractions such as music or tv are reserved for easy and boring tasks that do not require my full concentration. However, something that has recently plagued me is my inability to do nothing. Ironically, I find it hard to concentrate when reading long articles or when sitting in class, yet at every moment during my day I must pay attention to something. Let me clarify, as soon as I wake up, I find myself having breakfast while watching some random YouTube video. While on the bus heading to the university, I will be looking at social media and listening to music. Whenever I have free time from my work, I will be on some platform or randomly browsing the web for stuff I don’t need. It’s like I lost the ability to just sit, relax, and do nothing. Although at first glance this seems benign, this behavior is very weird and wasteful especially since I have basically no recollection of most of the stuff I go through.
Having read the first chapter of Clive Thompson’s “Smarter Than You Think” book. I definitely agree that working in tandem with technology has made us much more productive and smarter (Although his example of how humans team up with a machine to play better chess than the machine itself does not hold anymore these days). Personally, working in a field such as robotics, I could not manage without technology on my side, from browsing journals, to solving long equations, to creating complicated simulations … In this context, technology is my best friend. However, technology has consumed all my attention, in both good and bad ways. So where should the line be drawn? Is centering one’s life around technology become the new standard of living? Or is it simply the case that I have a weak will power when it comes to restricting myself from using technology?
I am not completely sure whether this problem is unique to me or shared by others. If I were to guess, I am pretty sure a lot of people are going through the same thing. On this note, I would like to turn it over to you and hear our thoughts on this matter.