The Effects of Multi Tasking
Most students have a hard time handling their time wisely. If you are like most students, your workspace looks something like this: A cluttered room piled high with papers, textbooks, and binders. You likely have a television, a cell phone, an Mp3 player, a laptop, a video game console (or two), and a DVD player. You’re playing music, have the TV on, and are surfing the internet with your textbook perched on your lap. There’s probably an open bag of chips and a soda within arm’s reach. This might seem like the ultimate in convenience, but the sheer volume of choices and forms of mental stimulation can wreak havoc with your ability to focus on important tasks, such as writing your college essays.“In the age of digital distraction,” writes Lucy Jo Palladino, author of Find Your Focus Zone(pg.211), “we function at new levels of stimulation and anxiety. The internet spews information like a firehose, but to digest information we need to sip it through a straw.” Studies have found that the amount of digital information college students now consume is staggering. The average young adult now consumes eight and a half hours of media every day(pg.116). However, these hours are compressed into just six and half hours of real time media use due to multitasking, such as listening to music on an Mp3 player while surfing the internet. The upshot is that multitasking leads to decreased performance, according to several studies that have examined the effects of multitasking on the brain. Dividing one’s attention between two or more tasks actually makes people less effective at both tasks. In one study, scientists compared multitasking students to students told to focus on a single task. Those in the multitasking group did not did not perform as well as those who performed only one task. “When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re...
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