I like to consider myself to be a wired individual, but even though I grew up alongside the technology that is now commonplace these days I am nowhere near as wired as some of the kids who have never known anything other than the highly digital world we have today.
I’m not even that good at multitasking. If I’m doing something I’m usually doing that one thing to the exclusion of anything else. Be it writing a blog post, chatting in IM, playing a game, or talking on the phone. I think I’ve sent a total of a dozen texts on my phone in my entire life. I don’t own a smartphone. Occasionally I’ll talk on the phone while driving or do a little IM chat while working on a blog post, but I usually end those conversations quickly so I can get back to concentrating on the primary task at hand. I’ve never had a lengthy, pointless conversation on my cell while driving. It’s too distracting. About the best I can do is listen to the radio while driving or talking to a passenger.
Compared to some of the kids I know today that makes me a total Luddite. Every time a break come around at work the kiosk computers are filled instantly with people checking their Facebook pages while chatting on IM and eating a snack. They’d have their cellphones out if it were for the fact that they’re banned from the building and some of them go out to their cars to get around that restriction.
This is why I found the following episode of Frontline so interesting. In it they take a look at how all these highly wired and constantly multitasking people are affected by the technology they’ve so immersed themselves in. How is it affecting them socially and physically? What’s it doing to their brains? How’s it affect their relationships? How will it all change the way the world works?
As per usual with Frontline, this is a very balanced bit of journalism that points out the pros and cons. In the end they don’t draw any conclusions one way or the other, but simply look at where things are headed and what it might mean. We’re going to lose some things along the way, but we will gain others.
The episode airs tonight on your local PBS station, or you can watch it here as I’ve embedded all nine chapters in this entry. The first is below and the rest are after the jump. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it if you take the time to watch it.