multi-tasking in a social media world

Images There was an interesting article in the New York Times Science section today with the headline Texting, Surfing, Studying?  The article focused on the generational divide around technology. 

There has been little research on the impact of media on attention skills.  Basically, the science of researching these phenomenas have not kept up with technology.  It got me thinking.

My kids are totally texting, surfing, studying kids.  Emily totally admits to the addiction that when she is studying and someone pops up, she cuts out for a few to have a chat.  Sometimes those chats last longer than she'd like.  It is an addiction.  No different than the majority of people walking around NYC addicted to their information coming at them through their IPhone or Blackberry.  I see it in Josh too.  He is having at least 5 conversations at once while watching a sporting event and if I don't catch him, his homework too. 

My kids grew up with information coming at them and some of the earliest game playing on the Internet.  Their ease with taking in technology and boat loads of information working at the speed of light is impressive.  Also, they have learned through this to be serious multi-taskers.  Perhaps it is something that comes naturally to them or perhaps it is a learned skill.  I believe it might be the latter.

They are living on Facebook, You Tube and other large social media worlds.  These worlds are the size of small countries if you look at the sheer numbers of people across the world using these services.  Social media isn't going away, it is just getting larger.  The way we communicate with each other and take on information has transformed quicker than anything we have seen since the beginning of time.

What is the most interesting about the social media world is if you didn't see it coming or you don't feel comfortable in it, there is a huge divide.  Since the economy went south, the world of social media appears to me
to have taken on a larger role in every business.  If you aren't in it
and haven't figured out how to change with the way things are going,
you are done.  Simple. Parents who don't embrace this world and especially the older working force that doesn't embrace the new world are creating a larger separation as each day passes.  Simply put it is  those who do and those who don't.  It is like speaking a different language and not understanding a thing the other one says. 

As for my kids, I am thrilled that they are able to navigate the world at the pace it is growing.  Always looking for the latest blog, the next application, what is the top hit on You Tube, Twitter information, friends on Facebook, Flickr photos from the last party, etc.  At the end of the day, it isn't affecting their school work one iota.  If anything, these tools are helping them become the best and the brightest of the 21st century world of the social media world we live in today.  Personally, I love that. 

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