There's an old insult that still get thrown at people who are either clumsy or obsessive: you couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. As the world turns more wired and media streams at us from all angles, I'm starting to wonder if the insult will soon be turned around to say "you can't just walk" anymore. After all, how many people when walking aren't a) en route, b) plugged in (earbuds or otherwise), or c) waiting to pick up their dog's stool sample?When I sit in front of the computer, I almost always have the TV on. Sometimes the TV is on (muted) while I'm streaming web radio. Last night I caught myself blogging while watching a podcast in the corner of the screen while the TV was muted and I was involved in two games of online poker. I can multitask with the best of them... I don't know that I can monotask anymore.While going to sleep, I always have a podcast, music, or TV playing in the background. While walkin' down the street I always queue up my "walkin' 'round" playlist on my Nano, and I wish I could say I was just walkin' 'round to walk 'round, but I'm usually going somewhere instead of just walkin'.It's the reason I can't live with a browser that doesn't have tabs. A hotel I recently stayed at was still running IE6 and I kept wondering why my clickthroughs weren't showing up in my active window. It's the same reason I have at least two dozen add-ons running in Firefox; I must know as much as possible in the smallest amount of screen real estate possible. I feel lucky that I'm old enough to still sit through a film without restlessly twitching around. I feel sorry for the 16 year old that compulsively texts during films and then feels it's necessary to discuss the conversations with her friends during the part where Bruce Willis takes out a helicopter with a police car!I am thrilled that, while enjoying a concert, I don't have to be viewing it through a two-inch digital camera or cell phone screen. That I don't need to shuffle through 50 yards of death march-like meandering for overpriced beer in order to enjoy listening to live music.I suppose that what Windows was all about though, the burgeoning dawn of multitasking. We've moved into an age of snippet efficiency where the majority of us don't only find it tempting to allow our minds to hop, skip and jump from job to job and back again, we will soon be to the point where we can't do anything but.I remember, through university, sitting down in front of an archaic PC where the concept of doing anything while typing up an essay was just as impossible as it was impractical - after all, it took hours to download even a few songs from an FTP server on a 28.8 or 56.6 modem as long as the three other people in my house didn't get a phone call. There was certainly no way you were going to be listening to streaming web radio... because, quite simply, there wasn't web radio. And if I tried to burn a CD, I'd was better to even move the mouse around for fear of causing a buffer underrun error.Technology has allowed us to centralize our multitasking, because, let's face it, ask any parent who's been a primary caregiver and they can tell you all about the history of multitasking, but they put a crapload of miles on every day. My PC's sedentary interface allows me to communicate in real time (and by mail), listen to music, watch video, and then turn around to record and produce my own content. I read, critique, mashup, digg, stumbleupon. I can buy and sell anything while negotiating a home mortgage and investing in an RSP at tax time. I can research any topic and aggregate information, catalogue, hyperlink and blog to my heart's content. And I can do this ALL at the same time while sitting in a chair.So am I doing more or less? From the micro perspective, there's a lot of stuff going on. From the macro perspective, I'm sitting at a computer, occasionally clicking or keying and really embodying what an outsider would call monotasking. I've become the living metaphor for Jamiroquai's "Travelling Without Moving".I just wish I could fall asleep without aural and visual wallpaper.Why can't we just enjoy chewing gum for its own sake?