Inspirations for newquill: New Media Literacies – Multitasking

Are social reality and digital reality the same thing? How do we define these terms? Is there a difference between what you can and can’t do in these worlds? Are there two worlds or just one?

Is everything digital social? Is everything social digital?

Can you fall in love digitally? Can you download and upload socially?

Can you evolve digitally? Can you multitask socially?

If you’re in a face to face conversation with someone can you multitask the conversation?

Digitally are we truly able to fake it until we make it? Can we be running Facebook, Linkedin, Ohours, Couchsurfing, turntable.fm, Grooveshark, and still be g chatting with someone as we hop back and forth between our multiverses without them knowing?

“R u there?”

I think the scientific research on these phenomena are inconclusive – but we do know that we can practice this ability. And, eventually, we can get better.

Which is a harder skill to perfect – social multitasking or digital multitasking? Or are they rooted in the same core competency?

Multitasking requires practice with tools that allow us to segment our attention and manage our mind’s CPU distribution.

I spent an entire summer with only an iPad because I wanted to see what life would be like without multitasking. Well, that wasn’t the only reason why I did it. But I did do it. And it sucked.

It is currently impossible to build the same multitasking abilities on mobile devices as you can on laptop computers. Trust me, I’ve tried.

And even though this makes life seem simpler and more organized, it’s not really. It just makes life more limited. And who wants to limit life?

The problem with tablets is that they segment your toolkits through apps that cannot multitask. But what if there was an app with a collection of tools in one place that are normally separated from one each other? What if all your media were contained in one reservoir along with your social networks and ideas? Well – it would feel an awful lot more like a desktop, wouldn’t it? And it would make you much more likely to create and share using your tablet, also.

Although we wouldn’t have the ability to multitask in the traditional multi-window sense, we could be able to see our choices in one environment and make conscious decisions on what to use when and where. Don’t think opening many windows in a fun house. Think of picking colors, materials, and making different strokes on a canvas.

Regardless of medium or mechanism this is the question we must ask ourselves: What is our intention? What are we trying to accomplish with our actions? Will that end be supported by multiple tasks? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t access all of your materials from one source.

In which case, I ask, why not?

Addendum: I recognize that, up to this point, the entire post has been sort of philosophically dry and without humor or entertainment – but very thought provoking, right? So I’m just going to post a screen shot from my desktop right now so you can see how absurd my concept of multitasking is. Cheers!

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