Multi-tasking, Texting, and the Service Economy

We hear all this hype on TV about how the younger generations are now experts at multi-tasking and texting and how video games help our children grow up to be surgeons. But who wants a surgeon who multi-tasks and texts? I mean neither multi-tasking nor texting contribute to a surgeon’s operating-room skills. Both multi-tasking and texting interfere with our ability to concentrate at the task at hand; multi-tasking and texting help us waste our time.

Multi-tasking and texting are products of our service economy; as skills they benefit secretaries, telemarketers, and corporate middle managers. Conversely, specialists (scientists, astronauts, mechanics, doctors, nurses, drivers, engineers, etc.) need to concentrate, not multi-task. Writers need to write, not text.

When the TV pundits and news anchors praise multi-tasking and texting and the younger generation’s ability to simultaneously do homework, watch TV, surf the Internet, and text, they are leading our young people down the drain, to lives of drudgery in a service economy.