CPA vs Multi-tasking

Thanks to NCT and my classmates for putting in immense effort to make each and every tutorial more interesting and understandable, I got to learn facts that I never would think twice about.

In the recent lesson, Concept, Mikh, Nizam and Serene taught us loads on the different social-media tools and how they are used. They also taught us the differences between CPA and multi-tasking which was rather hard to digest at first but I slowly got the gist of it.

Social media tools supports the human need for social interaction through web-based technologies and the Internet. These tools enable users to retrieve information about their network in the shortest time span and hassle-free environment possible. Users can also make use of these tools to disseminate information to their network by the masses.

Social media tools allows categorization within their pages to allow organization and prevent unwanted clutter especially from spammers and bots. Using API (Application Programming Interface), programs like Twitter can control the number or tweets an individual can make within a limited time frame.   

Anyway back to CPA, also known as Continuous Partial Attention.  CPA is motivated by a desire not to miss out anything. We want to be connected, be plugged in and constantly scanning for opportunities to gain something out of what we are doing or about to do. 

As for multi-tasking, we are motivated by the desire to be more productive and efficient – in other words, use the time to do more so that we will have more time to relax. In my opinion perhaps CPA is more of wanting both quality AND quantity whereas multi-tasking is quantity OVER quality.

ok, let me name some examples. But do correct me if I am in the wrong.

Example of Multi-tasking:

1) I am a gamer myself and often tends to be too immersed in my virtual world to even take the time out to settle my basic meals of the day. So one day I decided to cook maggie and eat it while playing my game. In this case I am trying to do both actions at the same time but there is no priority in mind to complete any of the tasks first.

Multi tasking involves doing more of the natural actions all at once but not achieving any results at the end because there wasn’t an intended goal to start with.

Example of CPA:

1) OMG. I have an individual assignment due tomorrow and I’ve yet to finish! But I have to check my inbox for emails by my group mates for another project and I just have to catch that recently uploaded video today and read my friends’ tweets!

This is CPA. You set yourself a goal in mind of what to complete but at the same time find other opportunities to do things and monitoring the activities in case something important might comes up so that you can complete them as well.

This may seem fulfilling in the short run, but stretching over a long term can lead to undesirable side effects like over-stimulation and worse, lack of fulfillment. Studies have too shown that we might be doing tasks slower and produces poorer results instead. Perhaps this is how information overload comes about. You have too much information to digest and some, if not all, are of equal importance to you. On top of that, the above is usually followed by medical problems which are attention and stress-related. 

I believe attention is the most powerful tool of the human spirit.

In the end, though, we are fully responsible for how we choose to use this extraordinary tool.

Well I suppose diversion is not always the best solution after all.

PS. Jo, QQ and Me had our moment of CPA at the expanse of not doing much discussion in the end.

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3 thoughts on “CPA vs Multi-tasking

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