14 June 2011

Short-term Internet Memory Syndrome


It happens all too often and similar to my most recent episode: As I was working, switching between two instances of Eclipse, a VMware Workstation window and Firefox, I thought about how I needed to make a task reminder in Remember The Milk for this afternoon as I leave the office. So, I switched windows to my Firefox window and opened a new tab. Then as I positioned my mouse over the address bar, I realized I had forgotten what I was doing.

Frequently I attest my horrible short-term memory to the fact that I usually have so many things going on at the same time that the sheer effort to multitask requires me to remember the fact that I'm multitasking, but forget why I'm multitasking. However, a quick search on the Interwebz revealed that I'm not alone and the problem may be more pervasive than just simple forgetfulness. Apparently its unofficially called "Goldfish Syndrome," and from what I've heard, its caused by information overload. Unfortunately, I live in a world where things change by the second, and in my line of work, sometimes I need to try to keep up, which is one of the reasons why I use Evernote, Remember the Milk, Google Calendar and Google Reader in the first place.
So, the next time you see me like this, please don't interrupt me until I've remembered what the hell I was doing:

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