Guys, The Nerd Archives has been a wasteland for the past couple of weeks. Where are you?
First thing I have to tell you: last night I was feeling a little bored and decided to scare my Mom. She was in her room reading and I walked in all shame-faced. I said,
"Mom, I have a confession to make."
"What is it, Christopher?"
"I saw some beer in the fridge and...and...I took a sip."
I didn't expect her to buy it, but she did. She looked at me seriously for a moment and then said,
"Well, at least it was just a sip."
She believed me. I don't get no respect. Onto the topic of multi-taskers.
I am like a woman in three ways. The first is that I use emoticons when I'm online. The second is that I wear dresses to social events. But the third is that I want people to listen to me.
We live in a social society. That's a good thing. Although they will all bring the downfall of the human race, Facebook, Twitter, texting, MySpace, formspring, Skype, etc. all have good intentions. They were created in order for people to connect. Well, economically they were created to make a profit, but what's the difference, really?
My issue is that society has gotten so hyped up by all of these programs that they've lost track of the details. I'm not just referring to basic social skills and hygiene, which are also at stake here. I'm referring to the little things in life: smelling flowers, listening to the rain, reading a nice book...
Oh no! Now I'm sounding like a middle-aged mother on her ideal vacation day. Add "take a nap" onto that list and I would be doomed.
But here's one thing we've all lost track of: living in the moment. Focusing on what you're doing right now.
We've become multi-taskers. And not just on the highway where we're safe--everywhere.
One time I tried gmail's "video chat" with a friend. (That was pretty revolutionary to me.) We started talking just like we would in real life...until one point when I launch into one of my little rants. It was a pretty serious one too--I think it might have been about politics or something of the sort. But I when I glance back at him, I see this kind of dazed look on his face. What's more, he giggles at random intervals during my tiny speech.
Unfortunately, he wasn't acting this way because he was hypnotized by the eloquence of my little ramble. It was because, I later found out, he was watching a re-run of 30 Rock on Hulu.
Hey, at least it was 30 Rock instead of something like White Collar or Burn Notice.
But is that normal? Do people usually do that? I honestly don't know. I'm not even joking.
Samantha used to be a huge multi-tasker. When I talked to her on the phone, she'd say,
"One second, I need to go do some math homework."
"Oh, okay. I'll call you later."
"No, no. It's fine."
I'd be a little surprised, but I'd go on talking myself silly, with her unusually silent in the background--occasionally grunting in agreement or something. Eventually it would be like,
"Christopher, can I ask you a personal question?"
"How would you, personally, multiply the following like radicals?"
Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly like that, but I'm sure you get my point, right?
In fact, my comedic idol Jerry Seinfeld has a little something to say about the subject:
Jerry Seinfeld on the iPhone and Blackberry. (I built a shrine to Seinfeld, by the way. He's just so...perfect. He's a joke machine, rather like a sock machine in which you feed yarn and mittens come out--except with jokes.)
See, he says it as a joke, but it's a very valid point. Rudeness has been totally re-defined. Our standards have been lowered drastically. Now the rules of polite society are:
- Try your best to wear clothes when talking to other human beings.
- Please refrain from threatening to kill your friends or loved ones.
- It is preferable that you do not scream obscene words at your peers, unless you smile charmingly afterwards.
- Make sure not to be racist...without a friendly grin on your face.
No, I'm not a fan of multi-tasking.
And then there's the car. Texting while driving? That's for wimpy teenage girls with no sense of fun. How about...
Texting, driving, listening to your iPod, listening to the radio, smoking, munching on leftovers from driving through Burger King, honking your horn whenever a bumper sticker tells you to, flipping off people who honk their horn at you, laughing at hitchhikers, shaving, chewing gum, showering, taking pictures of yourself with your cell phone, singing drunkenly, talking to your girlfriend on speaker phone, bathing, sleeping, dreaming, dancing, masturbating, jogging, and
Yeah, I take it back--don't try it.
Texting while driving. Texing while talking. Texting while performing brain surgery was the one that really hurt me most.
I have a challenge for you all: Rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time. Now switch.
After you finish that challenge, I have a more relevant challenge for all of you: try to live in the moment more. Try doing dishes without listening to your iPod. Try going on a walk without talking on your cell phone. Try making a phone call and just staring at the floor instead of at a screen. Try reading a book without the TV on. Try doing your homework without your laptop open. Try talking to your family without whipping out your cell phone at all.
Have a wonderful day.