Multitasking with New Tech Gadgets May Cost Us Our Humanity


I was just relaxing the other night, trying to enjoy a television show, but had the distinct feeling I should be doing something else at the same time.

I wondered if I had received some email, what I might be missing on Facebook, or if I should be writing another hub.

Since when had I begun to feel like I was not doing enough if I was not multitasking? Could I not just sit and enjoy doing one thing at a time any more?

I have read articles suggesting we have become wired, jittery, stimulus junkies - addicted to the latest technological fads.

It used to make me feel guilty to spend a couple of hours on the computer at a time - now I am lucky to have a couple of hours off the computer a night to do my gardening, exercise, and eat dinner.

The hits come from all directions when we are constantly on the computer, ipad, ipod and smart phone. Are we addicted to having information shot into our brains from many sources at all times of the night and day? Could it be similar to the high we can get from drugs? Are our minds getting too used to the stimulus that we feel bored without it?

In the past, women have been known for their ability to multitask all the duties of being a mother, wife, employee, cook, cleaner and more. Now add to that the technological advances. It is a wonder any of us are still sane. People are usually admired for being able to multitask, but latest research shows that the heavy multi-taskers do not get as much done as they attest to. Watch the video below.

If you have tried to watch a show the same time you are trying to write a hub, you realize that you either miss something on one or the other. It is very difficult to focus all your efforts into one task while trying to get something out of another one. And because we keep trying, scientists are saying we are causing ourselves more stress.

We need to give our brains a break. We might think that we are exercising our mind, but as bodybuilders and runners know - working out without the proper amount of rest is useless. My brain does need down time.

Scientists even say that daydreaming is what allows us to be creative. If we have constant fractured focus, it could damage the part of our brain that allows creativity. Not exactly a good thing for an artist.

Consider what you do during your lunch break. Do you spend it catching up on twitter, Facebook, texting, blogging, and email, or do you actually walk around enjoying nature, socializing and just breathing?

I remember years ago when I would try to catch a short nap during my lunch break after eating. I always felt refreshed and ready to take on the world afterward. We actually had to take a 15 minute break back in the day, and would usually spend it conversing with other employees, friends and family.

Virtual friends now seem to take precedence over people in our immediate sphere, the real world. It is now possible to be in a room full of people who are multitasking, totally ignoring each other, locked into their own little digital bubbles.

Our emotional IQ is bound to be affected by our multitasking and addiction to virtual rather than real world interactions. That part of our minds may shrink just like an underused muscle. Could we be able to get it back should the world as we know it end suddenly, leaving our gadgets paralyzed?

We need to keep ourselves balanced, keeping one foot in the real world and one in the virtual world. Do not make the mistake of crossing all the way over before it is too late to pull back.

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Comments 14 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks for your addition to this hub on the impact of tech dadgets on our lives pmccray. So true.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

There never were enough hours in the day now there really isn't. Truth be told no matter how many protest mankind is not a multi-tasker. We like to think we are, but we're not. It's been proven that while we text, check messages, facebook or twitter some of our children suffer from lack of our attention. I watched a special on NBC which spoke to tots about their parent's phone use. One child said he wished cell phones had never been invented . . .out of the mouth of babes.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Great ideas Giselle Maine. Good to have a system. Thanks for your comments.


Giselle Maine 6 years ago

Great ideas here! Very interesting and thought-provoking. Sometimes I find limiting time on each helps (e.g. I won't even check X until the next time I'm on the computer, but I'll allocate 30 mins to deal with Y and Z now).


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Interesting ideas shambalash. Thanks for adding to the hub with your insightful comments.


shambalash profile image

shambalash 6 years ago

Thank you for this wonderful hub! You just read my mind, especially in the part where you described the discomfort (I'd say sometimes even anxiety) of relaxing when we think we should be doing lots of other things.

Actually, relaxation is gradually becoming uncomfortable, which is queer and a bit scary! With the accelerating speed of life and the growing amount of technology devices that tend to consume our time and become substitutes for friends and communication, what are we going to face in say 50 years?

The only hope is that the human brain has more potential than we think it has and will adopt to new requirements and to multitasking as well. Perhaps, we'll learn to think, read, talk, generally do everything faster and at the same time? Perhaps, in 50-100 years this will be a mental norm, who knows?


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Sally's Trove for your addition to the hub. Like if you cannot multitask, you are unfit for a job - well, they should be more concerned with getting the job done right.

I think we were born with the right amount of hands and should work accordingly. Thanks Hello, hello for your comments.

I hope you can feel less stressed LianaK by concentrating on one task instead of several at a time. I also try to do it, but get a headache or just give up all of them and take a nap.


LianaK profile image

LianaK 6 years ago

Great hub as recently I have begun to feel very overwhelmed with everything I have to do and get really distracted trying to get all of them done at once. I think that focus is sorely missing in our generation. Thanks for the great advice. I will try to focus on one task at a time and I am sure I will be more efficient.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I feel like that would need 48 hoursand at least six hands. Thank you for your interesting hub


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Absolutely right about not needing high-tech devices to have this problem, although they surely do intensify it. A problematic multi-task pair that stands out immediately is driving and texting at the same time. If that doesn't jeopardize humanity, I don't know what does!

Somewhere probably in the 1970s the idea that multi-tasking (the term originated to describe a new computer technology) ought to be a desirable employment skill was born. Remember those job ads that included the phrase "ability to multi-task a must"? (Actually, those ad phrases are still alive and well.) That desirable employment trait began to cost us our sanity; and now, you are so right, we are in danger of losing our humanity! Chalk up another achievement for technology. Voted up and useful.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks for adding that dahoglund. It is good to know that our mind can only completely focus on one thing at a time - we are trying to push it too far.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I don't think we need technology to have this problem. One of the things covered in a study skills course I took way before we had all this technology we were told to devote a given time to each subject. When the time was up move on to the next one. Otherwise we have a tendency to tnhink about the literature assignment when we should be doing math and so on.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

You are welcome cathylynn99. Glad you liked them.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

great videos. thanks.

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