Teens cannot multitask (adults can't either)

Multitasking is a concept that is overestimated by people. We're blindly convinced by our own arrogance that we, as people, are capable of multitasking as if we were professionals. This greatly refers to teenagers and their frequent use of technology. The use of technology, especially by teenagers, is over-done by multitasking--doing many different things at once.

Whether teens are on Facebook, Twitter, on their phones, texting, or playing video games, one things is almost certain: they are not just doing one of those things.  They're most likely also eating, drinking, or chatting on social websites as they do all this other stuff.

So why the frequent overuse of technology and multitasking? Is dopamine becoming the major factor in this behavior? One thing is for sure: no matter what we multitask, whether we're teenagers or fully grown adults, the more we try to multitask at once, the lesser in quality it will become.

People who tend to multitask should consider minimizing the amount of multitasking they do, reminding us that multitasking is quantity over quality.

With the massive advances in technology over the years, we have become greatly attracted to the uses of new technology, so much that teens and even other adults can't seem to live without it. In almost any public setting, people are constantly using their smartphones, mp3 players, iPads, and what not to engage in the technology that they own.

Sure, sometimes people's jobs are to be on their devices--checking and surfing things for work or emailing co-workers or replying to business-related texts. But most of the time, this is not the case. More than anyone else, teens have the most rapid use in technology; most of this is simply just wanting to because it entertains them.

According to CNN Tech, the average teen sends over 3,000 texts per month. For what reason does a teenager need to send so many texts? In 2008, teens mainly had cellphones for safety and emergencies--today, teens say they only or mainly use them to keep in touch with friends or use data.

As the age in the study increases, the text messaging declines. This has probably something in relation to maturity.

Another factor in the frequent use of technology by teens and also adults has been dopamine--the chemical our body releases and urges us to do only what pleasures or satisfies us. For teenagers, a lot of this dopamine kicks in towards video games and social networking, basically entertainment.   It is what keeps teens busy. Dopamine allows them to focus only on what we want.

This is why multitasking makes up a large part of a teen's life--teens are surrounded by so much technology, they have the feeling to use it all as much as they can.

Teens may disagree with this and say, "We can multitask and get our work or anything we need done."  But the question remains: can they do it efficiently? With quality? With the different levels of dopamine, it is very unlikely. Teens will do what is most pleasurable for them first: entertainment.

What we have to realize is simple--we have to get our priorities straight (not only teens, but adults as well) so we can multitask only when truly needed, and when we do multitask, we must do it in an organized fashion, so we can get as much quality out of it as possible.

Dan Wijas, Hancock High School Junior

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