Getting lots of things done…..but not really

The topic of multitasking is something that comes up in every aspect of life whether you’re at home or at work or at with friends. Everyone is trying to do five things at once to get everything done: answering the phone while writing an email while signing papers, or cooking dinner while washing some dishes while playing with the kids, or having a drink with your friend while texting another friend while looking at football scores on the flat screen tv. It’s just part of life that we try to focus our attention on more things at once, or we don’t feel we’re being efficient or using our time wisely.

As someone in our group discussion during class last night mentioned, multitasking is necessary to survive especially in this digital age, however, it does not necessarily mean that we are all good at it. Like any other skill, multitasking is something that must be learned and practiced over time, but I feel no matter how much someone says they can multitask or thinks they can do it, chances are the jobs they complete are not done with the best quality. As Rhengold states, switching tasks and shifting your attention comes at a “mental cost.” Sure, anyone can switch tasks to get more things done, but the quality of work in each task is probably not near what it would be if we only focused on that one task without worrying about anything else. Unfortunately, many of us are not programmed to just do one thing or just have so many things to get done we need to take on as much as we can at once.

With mobile technology now, more so we have the urge to talk on the phone, text a friend, or check our email while walking to the car. We can’t help ourselves to answer the phone or check a received text while driving even though we may realize that is could be dangerous to be doing both at the same time. This shift of awareness from task to task can have consequences, such as accidents. There are even unconscious consequences we may not realize like missed time with your kids. I admit I have been guilty of this sometimes too, such as trying to multitask in writing or checking emails on my phone while taking my kids to the park; I may end up spending more time on the phone than actually playing with my kids which defeats the purpose of spending time with them, and Rheingold also mentions this being a distraction.

One really funny example I would like to share is about my wife and how she always boasts she’s a great multitasker, but I have caught her a few times having that mental lapse of juggling too many things at once. One instance was she was talking on the phone, while trying to edit a paper, while getting the rice ready to cook. Well, her talk on the phone went fine and she got some of the edits on her paper done, but she completely forgot to put water in the rice before cooking it! So we just ended up with a bowl of hot toasted rice grains! (Although, I have to admit she may be right on the multitasking to some regard since she was able to earn her Phd and a 2nd Masters degree at the same time!)

Rheingold mentions that we all need to pay attention to paying attention, and I really believe that. If you actually take a moment and focus or think about the task or tasks you are doing, it really can heighten your awareness of what you are doing as well as the environment around you. I think sometimes we get so caught up in routine things or doing so many things at once that our actual train of thought wanders. A great example i heard for someone before is to pay attention as you drive home, because most times people just zone out and don’t even realize what they are passing or seeing as they drive, but if you actually focus on the drive home you may notice some things you never even realized were there before.

These two images on multitasking below I thought were really funny, because in essence they are so true!

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Image from motifake.com

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Image from motifake.com

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Internet Privacy

What privacy, right?? With the rise and daily use of social media in every aspect of most people’s lives today, it is hard to imagine that privacy really exists any more. Unless someone truly lives “off the grid” or uses fake names on everything associated with online media or networks can that person possibly keep their full privacy intact. Even for those who do not sign up for Facebook, Twitter, PIcacsa, or Instagram account to try to keep their personal lives private, their personal information could still wind up on the internet some way some how for all to see. Apparently, I’ve discovered that if you own a home or purchased a house for example, all that information can easily be found by doing a simple Google search. There was no online sign up or anything on my part, but the city or real estate companies input that information online somewhere as it could be considered public record I guess. Surprisingly, you could find out where people live, information about their home, their assessed home value, how much they paid and when it was purchased. It’s kind of crazy finding that. So technically, that kind of information doesn’t even have to be posted on Facebook for others to find out.

When talking or meeting with someone face to face it is simple to withhold certain things you don’t wish to tell them. However, when online communication takes place, you can only hide so much nowadays. Sites like LinkedIn share people’s working history, Facebook displays people’s personal lives, and Twitter posts people’s constant thoughts at any moment, good or bad, for your friends and even outsiders to view. Even with pictures, not only being careful of what is taken, but I just learned of a report on the news of how people need to be cautious of what mobile pictures they post online as apparently your phone or tablet puts a location stamp on each picture so others can pinpoint approximately where you are (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vARzvWxwY). Parents with young kids or even teenagers need to be wary of this and turn off the location services or check the security detail of their mobile devices to keep that information blocked from those who could take advantage of the information.

This just goes on to prove that although it is very difficult to protect our privacy online and in some cases really unpreventable, we need to be aware and responsible for the information that is put out on the Internet. Whether it is posts on Facebook, pictures on Instagram, or little blurbs on Twitter, they will be there forever and can never really be taken back even if they are deleted…..those bits of information could still be floating around on the web somewhere. As a parent of two young children who will eventually be utilizing this technology for themselves or probably a higher form of social media and gizmos that I could not even fathom at this point, it is important that I understand and be attentive to what information I willingly share so that I can influence and pass that onto my kids. As Rheingold mentions, it’s not wise to block your kids from doing certain things online, but rather talk and share with them the concerns as well as learn about their interests to come to a mutual understanding of how to use social media and being responsible for your privacy.

In addition, we discussed the issues of online privacy with students in an educational setting as well. There is no denying that privacy will always be at risk whenever any online activity may be used for a class or educational learning in which case everyone involved needs to be mindful and responsible for the data that is put on the web. Educators may actually need to teach students about privacy and how to understand what information they post online may have grave consequences if not done without thought. Hopefully if educators have a so-called etiquette session on internet privacy, students will be mindful of the content they post online for class as well as with their personal accounts.

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About me…..

Clock Tower of Osaka Gakuin University (Osaka,...

Clock Tower of Osaka Gakuin University (Osaka, Japan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aloha! My name is Reid, and I was born and raised on Oahu.  I earned a BBA degree in Management Information Systems from UH-Manoa, but I’m obviously not in that career field whatsoever. After graduating from UH, I spent one year in Fukuoka, Japan on the JET Program, teaching English to high school students.  Then, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to teach English conversation at Osaka Gakuin University, where I first met our professor, Bert Kimura, who was teaching at the same university. (Bert’s wife was actually my direct supervisor there). I spent the next 3 years there in Osaka, which was a very memorable experience. When I returned, I served as the Leadership Development Coordinator in Student Life at Hawaii Pacific University for a short time before falling into my current position of Undergraduate Admissions Advisor in the Shidler College of Business at UH-Manoa, where I’ve been for several years now.

I’ve finally returned to finish my Master’s degree in Education Administration, after taking a few years off while getting married and having two kids. When I do have free time, I like to spend it with family and friends, watching movies, going to the beach and body surf if can, and traveling. I’ve been to countries all over Asia like Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, and even got to hit up some of the exotic places like Tahiti, Maldives, and New Caledonia. I’d like to travel around Europe, New Zealand, and even more around the U.S. in the future.

By taking this course, I would like to gain a better knowledge and understanding of how social media (and even using the Blackboard program) could help me improve my skills and effectiveness for my job. If we can efficiently connect with students anywhere at anytime to  provide them the relevant and individually specific information they need (by interaction instead of static info found on websites), then that would make our services that much more effective. Just learning more about how to utilize social media and technology is good for me to know personally as well. I look forward to meeting all of you!

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