Multitasking - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date Multitasking Multitasking means the ability of a computer system to perform tasks simultaneously, as opposed to subsequently. However, in reality, no computer system can do that in its literal meaning; microprocessors have the ability to switch rapidly between tasks such that they seem to occur simultaneously…
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Download file to see previous pages Studies indicate that many people consider themselves efficient in multitasking (Moran 2). From doing ordinary tasks like listening to music while drinking coffee and having a conversation with a second person in the room, to talking on the phone while driving are all examples of scenarios where people multitask. Though the functioning of the human brain is not fully understood, there are studies to show that it does not have the ability to process two or more tasks simultaneously, especially if the tasks utilize the same part of the brain. On the contrary, all it does is switch rapidly to cover all the tasks just like a computer processor. This switching between tasks reduces the efficiency of the brain in two ways. First, the brain needs time to adapt to the new task every time after switching. Second, the time lost between tasks almost doubles the time required to complete the tasks if done subsequently. Consequently, tasks are completed less efficiently when done simultaneously as compared to doing one task first, then picking on another and doing it to completion (Rosen 56). Consequences of Multitasking: Multitasking is not a forte for many people. Therefore, attempting to accomplish many tasks at once impedes people’s ability to perform some basic tasks that sustain and hold communities together. A good example of this is texting on the phone or tapping away at a blackberry while speaking to a friend. As people work on their technological gizmo, they miss ancient but crucial concepts of communication like body language that help to convey the parts of conversation that cannot be expressed using words. The absence of eye contact among other components makes the friend feel neglected. It appears to them that either the conversation is boring, or their friend is uninterested in the topic of discussion. What is understandable is the fact that one cannot handle two simultaneous conversations and to avoid risking ones social life, one has to end one conversation, push the other one through to completion before moving on to the next one. It is common to get a wrong or irrelevant response during a conversation as the other party is busy writing an email or chatting online (Junco & Cotton 375). Learning is also significantly impaired by multitasking. As one attempts to absorb the immense information available these days at once, one tends to skim over materials picking only what they perceive as beneficial. They then try to recreate the whole picture using any scant background information they may have. The media adapted to this new method of reading by including abstracts before all their articles, as the era where people enjoyed in-depth reading of long prose is no more. Many are contented with reading a few lines in a book review or news summary as there is no enough time to read it all. This reading culture’s main downside is the fact that it is impossible to learn anything new if one does not venture into uncharted territory of well-articulated prose. The major contributor to this reading culture where details are no longer relevant is the internet. Search engines have been optimized such that research that once took weeks of research, reading numerous books at the library takes only a few clicks, so long as one has a computer and internet connection (Carr 3). Finally, the switching that happens between tasks when multitasking does not allow the brain time to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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