Multitasking Dilemma

This article focuses on the concept of “multitasking” which has become predominant in our modern, high-tech society. It discusses how we as humans have made it harder for ourselves by multitasking in that it takes much longer to complete multiple tasks at once versus completing just one task at a time. People refer to the word “multitasking” as a skill, when in fact it is not. People use gadgets more and more these days which increases peoples’ abilities to complete many tasks at the same time; in other words, multitasking. Multiple studies have shown that multitasking can have detrimental effects on quality of work achieved in the workplace and even fatal effects when one considers such acts as using a cellphone while driving. This has been referred to as “continuous partial attention” by researcher Linda Stone. As a result of this multitasking in the workplace a new condition has been described called “Attention Deficit Trait” which has symptoms similar to ADD. One study noted that workers took an average of 25 minutes to recover from interruptions to their main task, by such things as emails and phone calls. It is estimates that this loss in productivity costs the US 650 billion dollars a year. Neurologists and Psychologists have studied that effect that multitasking has on the brain, and have noted that the blood flow changes from one region of the brain to another as a result of multitasking. In addition it has been found that multitasking leads to an increase to stress, hormones, and adrenaline which can have long term health effects. One study found that learning while multitasking makes it more difficult to retrieve the information that has been learned. This same research showed that information learned while distracted is actually stored in a different part of the brain than information learned while focussed on one task. There is some concern about how this will affect todays youth who are being raised in a multitasking, multimedia environment. The author concludes from all this information ┬áthat this multitasking phenomenon could have a detrimental affect on the well-being of individuals and society. She feels that society may gain information but will lack in “wisdom”.

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