Generation of Multitaskers?

Feb 1, 2012

With media and technology increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives, the youth of America have began to show characteristics of chronic multitaskers. After reading the short NY Times article below I began to look at my own life and how technology directly affects me. Even though I never notice the effects while they are directly affecting me, as I look back at a day in my life I realize that technology dominates it.

I go to school, use my iphone on my free to play games, text people throughout the day, use the internet to research a topic or look up a word, go back to my phone and play games, go home and watch a television episode online, check facebook, check Twitter, text some more, check facebook again, and the list goes on and on. I know that these many distractions sometimes make it hard for me to focus on my homework. While this has not had a detrimental impact on my grades, I see how it potentially could.

Sometimes a simple assignment takes me much longer because while I am doing it I am also texting and listening to a movie play in the background. There is also the occasional facebook check in between math problems. I could see how this constant multitasking could rewire the brains of young people like me, however I think that it is very hard not to become accustomed to this kind of lifestyle. Society is revolving around it whether we like it or not.

I agree with Michael Risch in the NY Times article when he comments on how our brains are rewarded for jumping from one thing to another. I often feel a feeling of satisfaction when I do many things at wants, like I am accomplishing more. This may not be true in the sense that it takes me longer to complete a single task because of the constant distraction, but I think this is a key factor in why young people are constantly multitasking.

Technologies give us an outlet that is addicting because it gives us satisfaction. And it's not just us, everybody is doing it.

"Are Your Tech Habits Hurting Your Grades?"


Attention switching

Submitted by Chad Sansing on Wed, 2012-02-01 22:14.

Danielle - thanks for sharing your thinking about accomplishment and multi-tasking.


Do you see any difference between multi-tasking (doing many things at once) and attention switching (moving between single tasks)? 


All the best,


Dear Danielle: I liked

evelyns's picture
Submitted by evelyns on Thu, 2012-02-02 13:56.

Dear Danielle:

I liked reading your post, "Generation Multitaskers?," because its funny my teacher said it's not possible. I disagreed with him ofcourse. I can't do my work without having music playing. I love music. I need music playing in the background so I can do my work. It makes it hard for me to not study without it.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: "Society is revolving around it whether we like it or not." I highly agree with this because it is like facebook, twitter, tumblr and other social networks has caused a lot of distraction. But it's also a better way of communicating and get close to others. This can be helpful at times and at times it may be bad.

Another sentence you wrote that I liked was: "Technologies give us an outlet that is addicting because it gives us satisfaction. And it's not just us, everybody is doing it." That's right it does. But yet people blame us for using it. It's not our fault its the encouragement and advertising that has caused us to want something so bad. Its addicting yes but in a bad way. Next thing you know robots is going to be doing things for us.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I want to know more about your topic