Addicted to Distraction
by Ellyn Davis (from the Home School Market Place E-Journal, August 16, 2011)
In the last issue of the newsletter I shared that many researchers are discovering all the good things we’ve believed about multitasking are mostly myths. Isn’t multi-tasking supposed to be the absolute best use of our time? Doesn’t multitasking make us more productive? It turns out the answers are no and no. And not only that, continual multitasking can have some serious side effects.
The most common culprits when it comes to modern-day multitasking are computers, cell phones, and TV.
It turns out that your objections to your kids spending hours and hours on their cell phones and in front of computers and TVs are valid. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have determined that at home, people consume an average of 12 hours of media a day (when an hour spent on two devices at the same time such as watching TV while using the internet counts as two hours. That compares with five hours in 1960. In addition, computer users visit an average of 40 Web sites a day. Computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour. This means that we are constantly switching our attention from one thing to another which is unnatural for the way our brain is wired and creates “mind muddle.”
Here’s just a short list of what they are discovering about multitasking:
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