Turns out the whole modern world is inadequate. I love a happy ending.
Only one question remains, and it is a troubling one: What exactly
Until these studies were released, I was under the impression that multi-tasking was some rarefied undertaking. Why else would there be such a highfalutin term to describe what people have always done, which is to say, a couple of things at once? And by a couple of things, I mean a couple of any old things.
According to a National Public Radio report on the subject, if you're listening to the radio and doing the dishes at the same time, you're multi-tasking. I had not considered radio listening to be a task. Now, changing radio stations while washing dishes (especially with a knob changer instead of push buttons) - that might be multi-tasking. But maybe listening to the radio is a task, especially these days when the music most stations play is so bad it's hard to listen to. In that sense, listening to the radio isn't just a task. It's a challenge. So I suppose I see NPR's point.
Apparently, if you are talking on the phone and hollering at your kids, you're multi-tasking. If you're watching television and eating potato chips at the same time, you're multi-tasking.
Lyndon Johnson once quipped that a fellow politician couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. He meant it, I believe, as a put-down. But according to research, it may actually be a compliment to a guy who otherwise focuses intently on doing one thing at a time.
Which brings us, of course, to the recently celebrated Valentine's Day. If I am, say, kissing my wife while at the same time, um, stroking her hair, would I be doing a disservice to both activities?
Or is romantic entwining a single activity, allowing a person to engage more than one body part at a time?