Multitasking? Madness.

Finally! A study has demonstrated what I’ve been insisting to those around me for decades: multitasking is not actually all that conducive to success.

Deep down, we always knew this. There’s no way you can really be listening to me when you’re texting your boyfriend on your Blackberry. Of course you’re going to miss a few things in class if you’re writing another essay while you pretend to pay attention.

So why do we keep pretending that it’s working for us?

I think it’s because with this generation of infinite possibilities supposedly at our fingertips, we fear success. Or failure. What if I commit fully to a task—turn my wireless off, spend hours of emotional energy, ask my friends for help—and the end result is just okay? What if it’s, in fact, mediocre? Now that would be humiliating. If I end up producing sub-par work because I put more time into checking Perez Hilton, though, I’m still a person with infinite potential for success. It just hasn’t been tapped into yet.

In my first year of university, I busted my ass. I read a lot. I wrote my essays out, by hand, multiple times before I would polish my drafts until they were buff and shiny. Consistently, almost every time, I was rewarded with mediocre marks. It was humbling—or maybe humiliating.

But I still remember each of those books. They’ve left indelible impressions on me. And referencing them in conversations with elitist professors of philosophy at dinner parties even averted my conversation and saved me, one time, from having to discuss my sexuality with a bunch of old people (how’s that for useful?).

Taking risks and committing to things can be a little terrifying, but without doing so, I don’t know how our generation will do anything worthwhile.

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