Why digital multitasking is bad?

Do you also switch between two digital tasks at once? Like watching television and surfing Instagram feed or watching a Netflix show and watching some reels or maybe texting your friend while attending online classes on your laptop. A recent study showed how switching or multitasking your screen time can affect your attention span or memory. A survey showed how adolescents are addicted to their phones and the average screen time recorded was 7 hours and 38 minutes. But, with digitalization and pandemic, this screen time is much more increased to massive 10 hours and 45 minutes every day.

A research study performed at Stanford University proved how multitasking between two or more digital media affects both attention span and memory. The study was performed on the 18-26 age group and many memory-related tasks were assigned. An electroencephalogram or EEG was used for data collection. As frontal and parietal parts of the brain are involved in attention and memory, these areas were the principal focus.

The group which multitasked scored low in the memory tasks and increased alpha wave was observed with shrinking in pupils. In contrast, the other group which do not multitask scored higher in memory tasks and no such observations were recorded in this case. After the study, the researchers concluded that digital media multitasking and attention spans & memory are correlated.

Furthermore, multitasking or switching between digital media causes switch-gaps, which means it takes longer to take a task, and it also increases the number of errors in the tasks.

Putting in a nutshell in some way or the other, multitasking between digital media can affect your attention span and memory, so it is better to do one task at a time because a person who chases two rabbits catches neither.