The Real Truth Behind Multitasking

Mandi Carpenter, Staff Writer

It has become second nature for people to apply a majority of their time focused on their phone by texting, checking social media, or watching videos. The surplus of smart phones today has abetted in student’s GPA’s dropping as a result of multitasking while studying.

Researchers used spyware programs that tracked windows and page names for each software application used on consensual students’ laptops during class. Students were encouraged to utilize productive sites, but still resulted in opening non-productive or irrelevant windows 42 percent of the class time.

According to the data collected, the students who searched other things on their computers while listening to the lecture had significantly lower scores on their texts and homework.

“Students’ brains are like RAM processors on a computer,” Caleb Barnet, counselor intern at Texas A&M University-Commerce, said. “When you run two things simultaneously on a computer that do two different things, it slows the computer down drastically. The same can be said for students’ brains when they multitask while studying.”

A study conducted by the University of Sussex compared the amount of time people spent on multiple devices to MRI scans of their brains. This comparison found that people who multitasked immensely had less brain density in the region that creates empathy and emotional control.

“When people dive into their phones they usually are trying to hide uncomfortable feelings,” Barnet said.

Emotional intelligence provider, TalentSmart, has conducted research on multitasking in the workplace and found that people who multitask in social settings have tendencies to have low self-esteem and self-awareness. In testing people with high performance, they found that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence and do not tend to multitask frequently.

Many students are convinced that multitasking accomplishes more in a shorter amount of time, which is the exact opposite of the truth. Research has found that only five percent of people multitask effectively.

Researchers from Stanford University found that people who stream information from multiple electronic devices have trouble paying attention, switching from one task or another, and recalling information.

This lack of awareness demonstrated that multitasking is less productive than doing single tasks. Multitasking has been proven to reduce efficiency and performance because human brains can only focus on one task at a time.

Multitasking has also been proven to lower IQ. The University of London conducted a study that instituted that cognitive tasks were completed as if the person had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night when they had only multitasked.

Multitasking is a damaging habit to develop as a student. It fuels difficulties with concentrating, encourages lack of organization, and significantly increases loss of attention to detail.

With cognizant effort this habit can be overcome before developing a habit that is hard to break and cause lasting damages.