“Taking Multitasking to Task” Essay In society today technology has consumed our world. On average one billion computers, two billion TV sets, and four billion cell phones are in use. Since this wide use of technology, you would never believe anyone would go on a diet for less technology, but Mark Harris beats the odds. Earlier this year he had set his resolution, “To eat less technology” (Harris). In his article “Taking Multitasking to the Task” he goes on describing his normal use of technology: watching TV, fiddling with the computer, and trying to connect the two.
Harris goes on to say, “Too often I feel mentally bloated. I’ve been ‘eating’ technology all day, but never stopping to digest” (Harris). Throughout the articles his views on technology are clear; we’re overloaded with it. He shows the personification of the pixel technological addicts in the movie WALL-E to our society. The article demonstrates that Harris’s feeling about technology relate to Ray Bradbury’s, the author of Fahrenheit 451. The two correlate by believing the society is overloaded by technology, by constantly striving the entertainment.
In Fahrenheit 451, the society is steadily watching their version of TVs and listening through ear buds so consumed that there is no time to think. This society is exactly like the one in WALL-E, which Harris refers the society to. While reading Harris’s article one character from Fahrenheit 451 came to mind, Mildred. Mildred is Guy Montags’ wife who is blinded by all the technology. Since Mildred never thinks she has problems sleeping at night, so she uses seashells to keep her attention span going. Montag notices this one night when, “He looked over at Mildred.
She was awake. There was a tiny dance of melody in the air, her seashell was tamped in her ears again, and she was listening to far people in far places, her eyes wide and starring at the fathoms of blackness above her in the ceiling” (Bradbury 42). Another example of her idealization of technology occurs when Mildred believes the actors and actresses to be her family. The following conversation shows her addiction: Montag: Will you turn the parlor off? Mildred: That’s my family. Montag: Will you turn it off for a sick man? Mildred: I’ll turn it down. (Bradbury 49).
Even though her sick husband is asking to turn off the TV she refuses because it’s her “family” and I think that’s ridiculous. In Fahrenheit 451 and in “Taking Multiplying to the Task” both authors talk about our society being overly consumed and obsessed. I believe that we’re not that bad, but we are slowly progressing there. My generation is experiencing a new level of technology. We are blinded by screens all day long through texting, Facebook, and iPods. Yes, we sometimes get distracted by our surroundings but we are not to a point of burning books. Harris also talks about how it’s ruining relationships, which I disagree with.
I think it brings us closer together because we can remain in contact with one another throughout the day. I don’t see it as a problem because I don’t typically consume my time texting when I’m with friends. Although it may not be a problem for my generation I slowly see it progressing in the younger generation. Because technology is Becoming more and more advanced it’s becoming more and more available, which allows young children to get a hold of unnecessary items. I constantly hear about a kindergartener having a cell phone, someone who is just starting to read has a cell phone; I see this as a problem.
As soon as we place something so simple to access knowledge in a kids hand it shows them they don’t have to problem solve. This sad process is what is going to lead us to overload. I believe technology isn’t controlling us; we’re not using it wisely. If we stop placing it in young minds and use to reach high ambitions (things we have to work for) we will be just fine, but sadly we are not doing that. Honestly, I’m scared for what the future holds for technological advances and the generations stepping up to face the world.