Monday, March 22, 2010


Got a great question after my 3/21 post, check it out. She asks, “… how do you see this technological age affecting young people? Are we creating a generation of people that have a difficult time doing one thing at a time? Can the brain really multitask all that well?”

First, let’s define what I’m talking about. To me an example of multitasking is a student in class who is Tweeting, text messaging, and trying to listen at the same time. The effects of this type of multitasking are not good. Some of the negative effects are: 1) it’s promoting an excessive need to “stay connected” at the expense of other activities, 2) reliance on electronic communication at the expense of direct interaction can result in the poor development of social skills and increased isolation. 3) It can also result in poor development of executive functioning characterized by an inability to focus on any task. More simply put, regardless of what a multitasker might think, it results in a person who is less competent, less efficient, and socially less skilled. So yes, this kind of multitasking can definitely cause cognitive problems.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Allen, this question is re: cell phone useage while driving. Was watching Oprah the other day and she has made it a cruscade to make all cars no phone zones. Now we all know the dangers of texting while driving, although the folks tested thought they did great until they saw the results, but my question is regarding straight phone calls. An "expert" said that when you are driving and receiving information through the phone, your brain goes into something he called sensory overload. Your peripheral vision is severely reduced and you basically are looking straight ahead. I can understand this when actually holding a cell phone to your ear. They did not make a distinction between hands free devices and holding a phone however. So my question is this.....would it be different if you were hands free and talking on the phone or would you still be overloaded. And if this is the case, how does this relate to talking to a passenger? Is that the same dynamic or different? Explain sensory overload. Thanks......