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There is no such thing as ‘multitasking’ [RANT]

Posted by DK on January 28, 2010

Just one quick thing on 'multitasking.' It doesn't exist, particularly if it requires the use of your eyes. Even if you have to use your eyes and your ears, you are mostly using your eyes. Why do you think pop stars dance around on stage? Yes, it's entertaining, but it also completely distracts you from how out of tune they sing. I used to joke that adding a bit of choreography makes the audience's ears 80% dumber.

When people multitask, they are actually switching between tasks in a serial fashion. We do not have dual core brains. In fact, I would argue excessive 'multitasking' is harmful to productivity due to the switching costs involved. So all this talk about not being able to do 'real work' on the iPad because it doesn't allow multitasking doesn't hold any water. People do 'real work' on the iPhone all the time, myself included. If the UI is as snappy as reported and you can switch between apps very quickly, no one will notice.

When I refer to multitasking, I'm referring to an app running in the background while you focus on something else. Perhaps your feed reader pulls your blogs into the iPad without you having to launch the app. It would be nice, but is it a deal killer? I don't think so, not for most people. Anyway, you get my drift.



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