Overload

Dear Ollie,

You need to save me from myself.  I need you to take my remote, my back-up hard drive, my iPhone and the keys to my medicine cabinet.  Hide them and hide them well.  Preferably not in the fridge.  Ollie, the interns are scared – take them somewhere safe.  Let them know it’s not their fault, that mommy just needs some alone time.

Thing is, I have started to notice symptoms of Adult-onset ADHD. I think it may be serious.  I cannot finish a thought, a design, an email.  There is smoke coming out of my laptop battery and I’m peeling Domino and  French Vogue subscription inserts off my backside.

Did you know there is a maximum number of internet windows you can have open at one time? Can you guess what that number is?  I will save you from the horror of knowing.  Do you realize how slowly a MacBook Pro runs when there are 17 applications open?  (“Pro” my arse. A “Pro” should be able to do a little juggling.) Such is my daily routine.  An exercise in frustrated paralysis.

I’m like a rat in a maze.  A maze carved from blocks of camembert, brie and aged irish cheddar.  Stopping only momentarily to lick the walls of deliciousness as I round the corner into the next delightfully inspiring website.  (BTW, have you been to the Cheese of the Month Club? My birthday is a month away, I’m just sayin’.  You can go in on it with Vic.)

Where was I, oh yes, my lack of FOCUS.  I blame the bloggers’ copious use of the hyperlink.  In any given post (in any blog worth it’s salt) there are oodles of glossy photos, tagged with at least 3-4 hyperlinks each that send me on a SCAVENGER hunt across the interweb.  From one to the next to the next, till my computer slows to a putter and I can’t even remember the interns’ names.

So, Monday, while on this journey of chaos, I ended up at the Atlantic Monthly. My Computer’s navigation system sounded off: “Caution!  Wrong turn! 10,000-word articles ahead. You have wandered into the realm of actual world events, take U-turn at the Gap ad.” You’d think that alone would have shocked me into consciousness, but no. I’ve developed an immunity to smelling salts.

Summoning every ounce of concentration, and reading comprehension skill I learned in school, I did my penance and forced myself to read their article The Autumn of the Multitasker – ALL 5766 WORD OF IT. It took me 2 days and 4 starts, but I DID THE WORK.

For those readers who’ve made it this far in my rant of a post, I will reward your perserverance with a highlight of the relevant points:

  • Multitasking is basically depriving our brain from quality learning.  We can do 3 things at once, but we don’t do any of them really well, nor do we really learn anything while doing them.
  • New technology is feeding the beast, enabling us to do more and more things at once, or with one device, crippling us from making the decision whether to multitask or not – we have no choice.
  • Chronic Multitaskers in fact waste 23% of their time in multitasking transitions and interruptions. 

Translate that into dollars, especially if you are self-employed, and there goes your discretionary Manolo Blahnik fund.

  • Multitasking boosts the level of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline…pre-maturely aging us. 

So what they’re telling me is that all the greenbacks I’ve spent on pots of Creme de la Mer could have been spent on tube socks for all the good it’s doing me.

So now I have this information, and realize I have a problem, but I don’t think this will stop my addiction to the constant stream of new media that the world is sending me via RSS feed, email, iChat, glossy magazine, etc. Now I’m just guilting about it all day.

Ollie is there hope for me?  Hold me.

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One Response to Overload

  1. Pingback: Soak it Up « Creme de la Mode

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