New Media multitaskers are suckers


potatohead.jpgADOTAS — As industries start to pop up to cure so-called Internet addiction, academics are noting that people should stop new media multitasking for more pragmatic reasons – they suck at it.

Multitaskers of media activities like watching YouTube, writing e-mail and talking on the phone are not very good at any of their tasks, according to a Stanford University report.  People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.

“They’re suckers for irrelevancy,” according to communication Professor Clifford Nass, one of the researchers whose findings are published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Everything distracts them.”

The researchers are also studying whether chronic media multitaskers are born with an inability to concentrate or are damaging their cognitive control by willingly taking in so much at once. But they’re convinced the minds of multitaskers are not working as well as they could.

And if users can’t control themselves, they can always enter a 45-day program for Internet Addiction Disorder. The cost? A whopping $14,500. This for a so-called disorder that is still being debated.


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