Heavy Media Multitaskers

High-tech jugglers, Heavy media multitaskers versus those who don't?

Can you process more than one string of information at a time? Can you do more than one thing at a time? I can remember being told a few times, "You can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time".

Perhaps they excelled at switching from one thing to another faster and better than anyone else. Maybe they are better at storing and organizing information? Maybe they had better memories?

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, a group of Stanford researchers has found.

High-tech jugglers are everywhere - keeping up several e-mail and instant message conversations at once, text messaging while watching television and jumping from one website to another while plowing through homework assignments.

"They're suckers for irrelevancy," "Everything distracts them." "They couldn't help thinking about the task they weren't doing," "The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can't keep things separate in their minds."

Social scientists have long assumed that it's impossible to process more than one string of information at a time. The brain just can't do it. But many researchers have guessed that people who appear to multitask must have superb control over what they think about and what they pay attention to.

What does that say about Jacks and Jills of all trades?

Is that a gift? I do not know, but my problem is the other way around. I have trouble accomplishing one task.

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