Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Multitasking Teens

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I found this article broadcast on NPR that I found very interesting. I had done some research last semester regarding multitasking and the results from this article were consistent with the results I have read elsewhere.

Jon Hamilton introduces a typical teen and his concerned mother. Zach is able to switch between homework, music, and chatting online with ease. However, studies show that the quality of his work is likely unfocused than what it would be there with no multitasking.

I am particularly interested in the consequences that multitasking has on teens today. I completely understand the pressure to multitask, because I myself find myself switching between several tasks on a regular basis. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to accomplish all of the assignments that I am required to complete. I feel like if I don’t start something right away, I will forget about it later. When I get a text message or a phone call, I respond immediately almost every time. When I write a paper, I am simultaneously reading articles, watching videos of interviews, and listening to music.

The problem is that we are not entirely focused on each task. Our best work is being compromised. How can a paper be focused if we are unfocused while we write it. I worry that teens have become so used to multitasking that they will have serious difficulty concentrating when they are required to. Will this have an impact on the number of teens with learning disabilities or issues like ADHD?

Another worry is teen’s ability to think abstractly. And while we’re at it, their ability to think at all. It is so easy to look up everything that it is almost unnecessary to use our brains at all. It’s as simple as .26 seconds in a google search to get 12,000,000 hits on carrots. There is no need for teens to use cognitive skills anymore.

Is the only way to accomplish tasks with complete focus to turn everything off? Or is that limiting the resources available to us? How is multitasking changing teens? Is it at all? And if it is, what can we do about it? What should we do about it?

Lots of  questions, but I thought this article was interesting. It opens the door to a lot of other topics that are of interest to me. Hope you all enjoy it!



Written by gandruszkiewicz

February 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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