Triple-tasking on the Train

I’ll bet three-quarters of my fellow NJ Transit riders are doing exactly what I’m doing: reading a book or newspaper, listening to tunes on their iPod and periodically scanning their blackberries.

We’re an A.D.D.-addled society that seems to absolutely revel in the fact. We’ve not only adapted to more information and less time, we seem to take perverse delight in it. Is that because we’re so self-centered we couldn’t possibly imagine the world getting by without us being aware of, if not opining on, the various issues of the day?

Various studies have shown the average American’s attention span is now condensed to something in the order of three seconds. We literally can’t focus on one assignment without immediately multi-tasking to a second, or third. Mmedia

I think multitasking is a significant contributor to the physical and mental health problems besieging our country. I think it’s also a factor in our waning global competitiveness (by paying attention to so many other countries, we’ve managed to neglect our own).

I’d posit other thoughts, but I need to fire up UB-40 on the iPod, scan the various sections of the Times and Journal, and finish reading an outrageous mountaineering book called Dead Lucky……all before I reach Penn Station.

Talk to you later, blogosphere.

2 thoughts on “Triple-tasking on the Train

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Rep – in fact I blogged ( about this only the other day when a survey came out about how your use of email shows you what sort of a person you are – stressed, driven or relaxed. Another survey showed that it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover your train of thought after interruption by email. This means that people who check their email every five minutes waste a whole working day – or 8.5 hours a week – figuring out what they were doing moments before…and that’s just email!