Today I attended the 25th Web Managers Roundtable where Lee Rainey, the directory of the Pew Internet & American Life Research Project presented some of his findings on the growth of the internet and how it impacts society.
Among the most interesting things Lee covered was how online / offline multitasking and continued partial attention appear to be one of our survival mechanisms in a fragmented media environment. Milenium old methaphores are at struggle — the farmer who needs to stay on task in a sequence of tasks in order to survive, and the hunter who cannot afford to shutdown lest an important call, message, post is missed. Multitasking does not necessarily makes us more productive but that might be besides the point. Our social networks expand — online and offline — and with that both our human interdependence, uniqueness and oneness become more and more apparent.