Multitasking – to me, it’s a stress thing. I can’t seem to be good at it and tend to mess up so much!
But is that as unusual as I think it is? Is multitasking really essential? Would it not be better to have things done well and efficiently, with wholeness, than half-attentively, resulting in poor performance and outcomes?
By Allan Goldstein
Originally published July 2011 revised April 2015
I recently overheard a proclamation, which has become somewhat of a mantra, recited by today’s college students. A student proudly making the following declaration regarding her ability to pay attention to multiple digital screens at once said, “Our brains are evolving to multitask!” That simple yet profound statement left me wondering if this could really be true? How in one or two computerized generations of human beings could our brains evolve so dramatically? Is there such a thing as multitasking, and how is our performance affected when we are concurrently attending to computers, smart phones, iPads, and our daily chores? Recent research in neuroscience has shown that our brains are capable of forming new neural connections, known as neuroplasticity, but this student’s assertion seems to be pointing towards a rapid leap in evolution that goes well beyond that. Through my…
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