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Is More Really Better?

It makes sense to think that the average person believes things they hear and see on television. I’m not referring to the shows that are clearly fictional, but rather commentary-type information whether it is in the form of news, documentary, or even on commercials.

And they do.

There is a commercial where a man is sitting with a bunch of children in a classroom – type setting. It is a cell-phone service commercial and there are a lot of variations of the commercial with the same man but different children all the time and in each variation they have a different conversation. The one that bothers me is with the man asks the children if doing two things at once is better than doing one thing at a time. The commercial is advertising how wonderful their network is because they can offer enough speed to do more than one thing at a time and get more done quicker than with other networks.

All the young children cheerfully reply that doing two things at once is much better than doing one thing at a time and one little boy demonstrates how he can wave his hands and shake his head at the same time.

The grown-up man then actually quiets a little girl in the group who tries to tell him that she can do two things at once also by shhhhing her so he can focus on the little boy’s demonstration of performing two things at once. He tells her to be quiet because he is watching the young boy (actually he is demonstrating his inability to do two things at once).

This commercial angers me.

It angers me for two reasons. The first reason is that he is saying it is better to do two things at once but he quiets the young girl because when he finds himself needing to do two things at once, he is unable to. Does anybody else see the hypocrisy in this?

The second reason is more philosophical. I disagree with teaching people (especially young children) that it is better to do two things at once. Simply put, more is NOT always better! But the commercial indicates that it always is and that young children ought to know that and buy into it as if it is factual.

Do we really want our children to believe that it is best to divide their attention and focus on more than one thing at a time so they can get through things faster? Do we want them to believe that they need to push themselves to get things done quicker and quicker without any consideration whatsoever given to quality?

Something humans have in common is that we each have 100% of ours abilities to contribute. Nobody has more than 100% and nobody has less than 100%. We each have exactly 100% of our unique ability. When we are able to devote large percentages of our abilities, we produce better quality than when we devote smaller portions of our abilities. That makes sense, right?

So, I find myself wanting to shout at the cellular service man on the television commercial. I want to ask him who says that doing two things at once is better. Who decided that it’s a good idea to teach this to young children? Shouldn’t they be taught the value of being able to focus as much of their natural-given talent toward some things and not always be overly concerned about how fast something can get completed?