We, as a culture, are not only engaged in screens most of the day, but we are also often using multiple screens at the same time.
In Screenagers, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of Child Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital, says:
"The brain isn’t actually capable of multitasking. In fact, your brain oscillates attention from task 1 to task 2. The young nimble adolescent brain can oscillate back and forth very quickly, but it comes at a cost. One study looked at children and had them watch either a very rapidly-sequenced tv program or a slowly sequenced program or play with crayons and then tested right afterward their cognitive ability and found that the kids who watched the rapidly-paced program performed more poorly than the other two. Overstimulation tires the brain and it tends to function not as well."
Our kids are very accustomed to having several screens out at once. I notice when my family watches a movie at home that they have their phones out and go will go back and forth between screens.
Let's talk about the multi-screen phenomenon for Tech Talk Tuesday:
- What are situations when you use more than one screen device at the same time?
- Do you think you can be successful at multi-tasking if you are going back and forth between screens?
- Do you find it is hard to be in a movie theater and not check your phone?
- What about homework? If you are working on the computer do you have your phone out too?
- Is there something you do better when you only have one screen out? Can you write a paper successfully if you are regularly checking your phone?