Multitasking — Is It Good or Bad For Students
In today’s world, multitasking has become inevitable. Students as well as adults, find them themselves multitasking all the time whether they’re at school, work or home. Students are either listening to teachers while taking notes or probably watching an educational video or a screen. At home, they might be answering their homework tasks while checking their social media accounts. Multitasking means that attention and concentration will be divided and typically reduced.
Why do Students Multitask?
The simple answer is that there are too many distractions. Whether they like it or not, kids and teens are under much pressure from digital devices and the internet, so they rarely have time to sit focusing on one task. Some students choose to study online, which means they have access to the internet. Accordingly, access to social media platforms becomes easy. They could end up checking their friends’ photos, chatting, or engaging in discussions that don’t directly relate to educational purposes if they’re checking for answers on an academic platform and use it to make homework like this.
Even when school and college students are working on their homework assignments, they might start receiving calls and notifications from their classmates who ask for help or just feel too bored to study on their own. They could be watching TV while finishing a paper or essay, or maybe listening to music while writing a lab report. In the end, it all leads to the same thing. Too many distractions that students end up confused with the academic material they’re working on.
Lots of kids and teens believe that multitasking doesn’t affect them negatively. But expert teachers and professors disagree. That is why they limit access to distracting devices and activities in class. However, there’s little control over what students do at home when they’re away from the classroom environment.
Some students argue that watching TV or playing an online game refreshes them and gives them the energy to study. They find the educational material they learn too boring or challenging, so they give themselves a break. But experts think that spending quality time working on an assignment is the only way that can improve one’s academic level.
A Few Negative Impacts:
The temptation is constant. Students find themselves engaged in several activities even if they don’t really want to. An average person checks their phone more than 100 times per day, and anxious students do this more often. After dealing with a distraction like a text message or a social media post, people will spend some time before they’re ready to work again.
Multitasking means that students will spend more time on a single task. Because their attention is distributed among two or several activities, they don’t become as competent while working on an important assignment. As a result, they end up missing deadlines, or they’ll suffer from a decline in their academic performance reflected in grades.
Students usually don’t understand the academic material well when they’re watching TV or checking their cellphones and social media accounts. This means that they’ll have to spend more time in order to absorb this information, especially if they’re studying for an exam. Academic research proves that multitasking actually decreases cognitive performance. Heavy multitaskers are worse at what they do than people who focus on a single important task.
Moreover, after studying time is up, students usually suffer from a lower retention rate. They’re unable to remember the information they spent hours studying because their brains were busy focusing on other activities. Social media platforms are full of news, pictures, videos that attract attention and people usually feel drained after being caught up in online discussions so they’ll have no energy focusing on anything else.
At the same time, teens and kids usually suffer from anxiety and stress. Social media platforms can contribute to stress and pressure from peers or strangers, and this means that they might feel down if they’re cyberbullied. Lots of younger people struggle with online safety and might be subject to online pressure from peers or strangers, and this accordingly affects their academic performance and ability to study.
Younger people, especially the ones lacking self-confidence might find themselves comparing their lives to others. Focusing on others’ people’s lives is confusing and draining. People who do this end up with a distorted self-image where they might start to feel unworthy or inadequate. Various social media platforms teach young people distorted definitions about the meanings of beauty, success, and respect so they might start questioning their actions and choices. This takes their minds off studying and can affect their mental and emotional health to a great extent.
Even scrolling through messages can ruin a day-worth of studying and learning. Lots of people are highly sensitive to the stuff they see or hear – even if it’s strangers who post them. A single text message can keep someone’s mind busy for days or even weeks when they pretend they’re studying, but they’re actually not accomplishing anything.
How to Avoid Multitasking?
Educators, as well as parents in the house, play significant roles if they want to limit distractions. This means that a single study session in the class or at home will have more value, so students become better and more efficient at what they do.
There isn’t one way that could eliminate multitasking entirely, but there are some tips that can help limit it and only use it for good purposes that can help students achieve their academic goals.
Switch off smart devices. When it’s time to studying, students should switch off their phones and other smart devices unless they need them to access academic information. This means they should ignore texts and notifications from friends and strangers.
Pick the right spot. Students shouldn’t study in a busy or crowded room, in front of a TV or a game console that would distract them. They should pick a quiet and relaxing spot where they focus and study, so they make the best of their time and finish more tasks.
Work on one task at a time. If students are overwhelmed by the number of assignments they need to finish, they’ll probably end up achieving nothing. They should devote time for a single task, work on it and use the relevant material then move to the next.
Have a plan. A study plan or schedule helps put things in perspective. Students become more aware of what should be done over a certain period of time. This also highlights tasks that require more time or effort.
Being prone to multitasking is a habit that should be discouraged or limited. It lowers performance in the business or academic environment because our brains are wired to focus on a single task at a time. Multitasking has a negative impact on organization and comprehension skills and should be avoided if students wish to become more competent and successful.
My name is Alexia Walker, I am a blogger and work as an editor. I have a Master’s Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. I also help students with their literary assignments – articles, essays and summmaries of books, my works you can see at freebooksummary website.