Given that technological communication is such a vast field, there are hundreds if not thousands of groups, journalists, labs, and even individuals who are constantly researching what kind of impact that it has on everyone ranging from our youth to our elderly, as well as its lasting consequences on our psyche. Some are absolutely in favor of increasing the amount of technology available to us, citing applications such as Skype and Viber that now allow us to freely speak to and video conference with anyone around the globe. Others feel that humanity has become less “neighborly” and that we do not spend enough actual face to face time with the people who are right there, spending more time looking at a screen and less time into someone’s facial expressions. However, in an article on the Journalists Resource(2013) by John Wihey, the author believes that while technology does allow us to multitask, we become incredibly inefficient at it leading us to be overall poor workers. I wholeheartedly disagree with his stance on the issue, despite his sources.
We see in the article that many people begin to develop something called “chronic multitasking,” in which an individual begins to feel the need to constantly do more than one thing at time as they increase their usage of their cellular devices. Wihey goes on to say that these people are, “…basically terrible at all sorts of tasks, including multitasking.” Essentially, these individuals are not multitasking for efficiency, but instead for the sake of being able to use their cell phones or electronics while doing something else. This diminished form of multitasking has been observed, examined, and finally reported by numerous research institutions who all agree on the same thing: media multitaskers are not at all efficient in the basic tasks they have been given and are unable to function at the same cognitive level as those who do not
Their level of evidence is overwhelming, and I do not refute their claims that the modern day media multitasker is not a very able worker. But I do believe that many modern day naysayers of technological communication tend to forget that the smartphone is a very new device, the first iPhone having been introduced in 2007. Facebook was founded in 2004, barely more than a decade. Yet we somehow expect ourselves, who spent centuries developing the appropriate way to speak and interact with one another, a skill some spend their whole lives mastering, to be masters of using this brand new infantile technology in a fully appropriate manner that would keep us from being the best we could possibly be. We do not expect someone who has never seen a phone before to know how to use it, and we should not expect people who have only been on the internet for a few years, which is constantly evolving and growing, to be a virtuoso of the online landscape that has just begun to shape itself today. I agree that most people aren’t very good at using their phone while doing homework. But I know someday, that will change.