Multitasking is Bad for Mental Health
However, what we might consider an advantage is considered to be a disadvantage by the doctors. They stated that the brain of a human was not made to take so much technological pounding at a time. Because of this, our brains might be permanently damaged. Clifford Nass , who is a Stanford University communication professor stated that multitasking is not good for the brain, and that it does not have any advantages whatsoever. The process called working memory is the one responsible for our possibility of performing certain difficult tasks such as reading for example. The short-term memory is used as well when we perform these tasks, and they help us with comprehending the information. However, there is a limit too all of these processes.
This means that when we multitask, such as chatting online and listening to the news in the same time, we aren’t doing too much because the brain can not actually comprehend the entire information it receives. Instead of doing one job in the proper manner, it does two jobs in a sloppy manner. Nass said that our brain does not receive information from both of the sources, but that it constantly switches from one source to the other trying to obtain information from both of them which makes the situation very complicated. Unlike many of the similar skills, this one does not get better with practice. In fact, it seems that the more you multitask, the worse you become at it, and the reason for that is the fact that the brain can no longer take that much information. It seems that a person who multitasks all the time is very lousy at doing it.
He conducted an experiment, and he discovered that when multitaskers were asked to do four different things, they failed at all of them. They could not filter out the information which was not relevant for them. When they had the possibility of choosing between task-related information and off-topic related information, they chose the off-topic one. They could not extract the information from the short or long term memory, and they could not switch from task to task. It is unknown why this is happening, but there are two possibilities for it. One of them might be the fact that the people can not multitask because the brain can not comprehend so much information, or that the people can not focus on single task, and as a result they decide to multitask. However, it has been discovered that our brain just loves to multitask.
Joanne Cantor, an emerita professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison stated that the main reason for that is the fact that our brain are attracted by something which brings novelty, and one of the best ways of enjoying the novelty is through computer and other digital devices. The main reason why we are looking for something new on certain occasions is because of the way in which our brain is shaped. The people who are looking for new experiments have a stronger connection between the memory and reward centers from their brains than the people who prefer to leave things the way they are. Simply put it the brain looks for something new in order to be treated with the process of receiving positive feeling. It is similar to the effect of a drug.
She said that every time we receive a mail, or we hear the sound which indicates that someone wrote us something online, we immediately go and look what it is, because we are curious and want not to miss any information. She said that constantly switching from watching or listening to something and then to verifying the e-mail and so on can be really exhausting and difficult to do. She said that the brain finds it very difficult to switch from one task to the other on a constant basis, and that it would prefer to be engaged in a single task at a time. This is why the internet and the modern technology can become a curse sometimes. She stated that the best thing to do when you feel that the brain is tensed because of the technology is to take a short break. Get off your chair and take a brief walk through the apartment, and so on. It will be much better, but you should know that these walks will need to be quite frequent as the brain might get tired very fast. This will get the blood flow moving, and your brain will receive more oxygen and it will feel much more rested.
She said that we should not try to fool ourselves that we are capable of multitasking because even if we think we are, the numerous researches have shown something else. One of the biggest problems when multitasking is the fact that it takes a long time to switch between the tasks. This overconfidence can lead to all sorts of problems, because we might be tempted to believe that we are able to text and drive in the same time, and we might end up having an accident. You can use this information if you want, but I have to admit that stopping multitasking is very difficult. I often multitask, as I do not see any harm chatting online and listening to something. You should be more careful doing it if you are engaged in certain activities which might be hazardous for your health.11