Sunday, March 13, 2005

Multi-Tasking Multi-Media

A local radio talk-show host brought up the topic of teen-agers and their penchant for seeming information-overload while studying. Multiple-IM windows, along with music and television. This according to this study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The host was expressing dis-belief that this practice would surely lead to poor results in whatever studies were persued. Having personally observed this behavior in my own teen-agers, I wrote hime this e-mail:

Hi Jerry,
As anyone who knows me will attest, I am hardly the norm, but I regularly multi-task media.
I am, at present, listening to music and your radio show on headphones by feeding the radio headphone out through
my laptop soundcard input.  This while I am working on documentation for our latest server.
I have had friends note my un-usual ability to handle multiple inputs.  I have, at times, cobbled together input cables to allow me
to listen to two different talk-shows in each ear of a set of stereo headphones.  I suppose I would IM, but my friends are not into
that techie.
Back in the dark ages, when I was in school, I always had the TV on while studying.
I have two daughters who have exhibited the exact behavior you mentioned.  My oldest graduated in the top 5% of her class and my youngest, a Junior, will be in the top 5%.  Both participated heavily in weighted classes with high work-loads (Inter-National
Baccalaureate.) at the best high school in, arguably, the best school district in the state of Missouri.  Both of their boy-friends received/will receive International Baccalaureate degrees.  The one who graduated last year from the same school is now in the six-year med program at UMKC.  The other, who will graduate in May has also interviewed for the UMKC med school, but may decide to go into gene research instead.  (I know, I know, every fathers nightmare...  ;->)  Both of these young men do exactly the same thing you describe while studying.  I have another young man presently residing in my home who also participates in the extra-load of International Baccalaureate classes.  Ditto on his study habits.
BTW, I guess I am in the vanguard here.  I will turn 50 this October.
Keep up the good work!
BB better known as MrGadgets


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