How useful is multitasking?

Reading this interesting posting by Clay Shirky I noticed, for example, this part: "People often start multi-tasking because they believe it will help them get more done. Those gains never materialize; instead, efficiency is degraded." Reading the book Visible learning and the science of how we learn I learned something similar: At location 2500, for example, I read that the human mind is unable to genuinely focus on 2 activities at once. The moment you remove your attention from a task, you can expect no meaningful learning or skill development to take place. In other words, to learn well, we need to stop multitasking.

That people stop multitasking may not be realistic, however. And via this tweet I learned that in Chongqing, China's first “exclusive sidewalk for mobile phone users" has been introduced. At first, I was a little shocked about this initiative. However, after reflecting on the idea, I would think that it is not far out after all. And watching the video below, which is somewhat on the humorous side, one does, I think, get the idea that a new need may be on the rise ;-)

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