By now most of us have read articles about the myth of multitasking: Research backs up the fact that our brains truly aren’t capable of carrying out two (let alone three or four) tasks at once.
The late Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University, studied the way multitasking takes its toll not just on our concentration, but on our creativity too. Read a fascinating interview with Nass here.
When it comes to screen time, however, researchers are discovering that for kids and teens, it might more accurately be described as “screens time.” That is, tweens and teens aren’t just typically consuming media from a single source. Rather, they may be researching a topic on the Internet while fielding comments on their Facebook page while listening to music.
That was just some of the startling information to emerge from the Common Sense Consensus: Media Use by Tweens and Teens survey. In it, of those 6-9 daily hours that children and teens spend consuming media, much of that time involves consuming two forms of media simultaneously.
And that, says Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer, effectively kills any chance of concentration. In this interview, Steyer talks about how many teens think they can multitask (why not study Shakespeare while uploading photos to Instagram???), but in truth, they pay as much of a cognitive cost as anyone.
Read the fascinating interview here.