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Affects of Multi-tasking

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Multitasking is something that most teens do in their everyday life. Whether it is during studying time, hangout time, or even family time, teens tend to engage in multiple tasks at the same time. Rebecca A. Clay, the author of Mini-Multitaskers, also agrees with this concept. Her overall main point throughout the article is that Multitasking prevents teens form learning and retaining information. In the article, it is made evident of where she stands. Clay makes it blatantly obvious that she feels as though multitasking has a negative effect on the brain as well as the learning development. Clay uses statistics such as “…According to a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study, almost two-thirds of 8- to 18-year-olds using a computer to do homework are also doing something else at the same time. And during a typical week, 81 percent of young people report “media multitasking” at least some of the time…” in order to support her opinion and argument.

Clay uses quotes from multiple psychologist and neurologists to support her claim as well. With the information from professionals, it makes her statement seem more credible. Psychologist David E. Meyer, PhD, director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said: Like their adult counterparts, young people often believe multitasking boosts efficiency. But there is no such boost; People who multitask actually take longer to get things done. If a teen is trying to write an essay on Shakespeare while text messaging friends, the back-and-forth can cause “a kind of mental brown-out”. You wind up needing to use the same sorts of mental and physical resources for performing each of the tasks. You’re having to switch back and forth between the two tasks as opposed to really doing them simultaneously.” Using quotes and statements like this is what helped make Clay’s opinion on multitasking seem like more of a concern. This type of information presents a real issue and helps make teens and parents who read the article more aware of the effect of multitasking on the brain and mind.

On the contrary, there were also weak points in the article that suggest certain biased. Clay failed to address the counter argument; By addressing this, it would have made her argument seem less biased. However, it seems as though Clay was only concerned with convincing her targeted audience, the parents, of her opinion.

The concepts of Correlation and Causation appear in Clay’s argument. Clay supports the correlation: As multitasking increases, information retained decreases. However, she also implies the causation: Multitasking causes a decrease in the amount of information learned by a teen. Both concepts are supported in the statistics as well as the quotes from psychologists in the article. These concepts also appear in various other articles like: Multi-tasking Adversely Affects Brain’s Learning By UCLA Psychologists , and The Effects of ADHD (Beyond Decoding Accuracy) on Reading Fluency and Comprehension By Dr. E. Mark Mahone, Ph.D., ABPP. Both of these articles express how disorders such as ADHD and ADD are caused by years of multitasking. Studies show that 62% of kids that begin to multitask between 3-7 years old tend to develop ADD or ADHD once the hit their adolescent to teen years (Multitasking Adversly…).

In my personal opinion, I think multitasking aids students in retaining information. I personally multitask when doing homework and studying; Therefore, I would disagree with Clay’s argument. However, I could also be part of the percentile of teens that are not affected by multitasking. Everyone is different and certain tasks affect people in different ways.

Through this writing process, I have learned different perspectives. I’ve learned the possible correlation between multitasking and info retained. Learning the opinion of those with an adverse perspective opens up my knowledge and understanding. I have more insight to the opposite opinion and can draw better conclusions about my opinion and argument based on the information obtained.

Works Cited

“Multi-tasking Adversely Affects Brain’s Learning, UCLA Psychologists Report.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2006. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

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