Are you reading this blog post on your computer, IPad, or Smartphone? Do you have the television on in the background? Is your phone dinging constantly due to texts and other social media notifications? Chances are you answered yes to at least one or maybe more than one of the questions above. As the world of technology becomes more easily accessible, it is no surprise that we rely on technology for every day activities. From checking emails, surfing the web, or binge watching the latest season of a favorite show, many are in a constant state of multitasking online and off. This task of trying to complete different items at the same time has been shown to cause stress and other negative effects as noted in the article “Why the modern world is bad for your brain” by Daniel J. Levitan.
“our brains are “not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.”- Earl Miller,a neuroscientist at MIT.
As mere human beings, we do not have eight arms or multiple brains to help with our technological multitasking disease.
We can only work on so many responsibilities before our brains feel fried, tired, and overused. It can be an exhausting day when we are in a constant state of jumping around from task to task. The more hopping around from job to another only causes stress levels to build. One may feel sweet relief after completing an online item on one’s growing to do list, but the euphoria only lasts for a second.
Suggestions of completing tasks one at a time are usually met with opposition because why complete one task when working on multiple items can have the worker finish many things in record time. But at what costs is this multitasking trend taking from us?
“Asking the brain to shift attention from one activity to another causes the prefrontal cortex and striatum to burn up oxygenated glucose, the same fuel they need to stay on task. And the kind of rapid, continual shifting we do with multitasking causes the brain to burn through fuel so quickly that we feel exhausted and disoriented after even a short time. We’ve literally depleted the nutrients in our brain. This leads to compromises in both cognitive and physical performance.”-Levitan
These are some scary findings. If you were nodding in agreement throughout this post then maybe one should jumpstart the idea of trying to complete one job at a time or least try practicing focusing on one item.