French scientists Sylvain Charron and Etienne Koechlin discovered our brains are weaker than we think.
They conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment and proved that we are unable to divide our attention with more than two tasks at any given moment. Blame your frontopolar cortex for being incapable of multitasking.
Joshua Becker appreciates the finer things in life. Cell phone texting kills us, he says, and he doesn’t refer to motor vehicle deaths of teens texting while driving. No. Josh writes about the benefit of single tasking, specifically around experiencing life without a 24/7 tether to your mobile device.
We carry our phones throughout the house, pull it out while with friends, and refuse to walk anywhere without it. Talk about guilt by association.
Comment after comment, people wrote on Josh’s blog. I like Michael Michalowski’s comment the best:
…I grabbed my phone and texted someone. It is really an attention grabber, removing your focus from the present.
Your conversations become more meaningless, less special. You talk about anything unimportant and sometimes feel even annoyed by getting a message in the wrong moment. That’s not how I want to communicate with my friends.
I’m reminded of a former manager who left his cellphone in a locked office drawer every night. His rationale was the phone messages and emails would be there the next day; and in the interim, he wanted to enjoy family time.
I should add that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 be limited to media exposure. Independent play is always superior to staring at a glowing screen, they argue. The iPhone, iPad, and the TV could be detrimental to infant brain development.
If you’re still reading, consider moderating your mobile use. Rationalize that you can only conduct one or two tasks at the same time, never more.
When you’re ready to minimize your life, click the reboot button and live your life the way you were meant to live it. If that seems drastic, here’s a tip to start with 51 minutes. Ready?