The article that I have chosen to write my research position paper on is one from The New Atlantis, called The Myth of Multitasking, written by Christine Rosen. The audience that she is speaking to is generally an older more mature audience, so she uses a proper educated tone to display her position. In her article, she discusses the pros and cons of the new phenomenon of “multitasking”. She goes into how it really isn’t even a new concept, it has been happening for ages, like the “ability to walk and chew gum”, but the concept has recently become more widespread and acceptable in our day in age (Gleick, Faster). The boom of technology and our constant access to the internet and other gadgets has contributed to our need for continuous stimulation. Rosen tells us about the advantages and disadvantages that the constant flow of our brain has on our bodies and our futures. For example, our body releases adrenaline and stress when we focus on many things at one time, which can be beneficial to us, if for only a short amount of time, but after a long while it can cause serious medical damage to the human body.
To develop and support her ideas, Christine Rosen quotes a large variety of people that support her findings. She has quotes from psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists from different universities around the world, as well as quotes from different books on the subject of multitasking, or task-switching, as it was called in the article. Another way that Rosen gathered information for this article was by finding actual studies that observed the brains functioning patterns, using and fMRI, when the subject being studied was focusing on multiple things at the same time.
I would say that I agree and disagree with Christine Rosen. I do believe that sometimes multitasking can certainly decrease the quality of work that an individual can produce, but at the same time, sometimes keeping your brain subconsciously tuned in to something different can be helpful. From personal experience I know that when I’m writing or reading, I cannot have anything else going on, or I will lose my focus and have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing, but then for other things, like doing my math homework or washing dishes, I pretty much have to have music playing and my cell phone no more than 5 inches from my hand. Multitasking can be a good thing and a bad thing. Sometimes our brain needs to take a break and cool down just like the rest of our body after a long day, and when we always have our focus on multiple things, it is impossible to let that happen.
I have no idea how I am going to go about structuring this essay, nor can I fathom writing 10 pages without babbling on and on, but I know how I am going to do research and develop my own ideas. I am going to make a survey for my roommates and my sorority sisters about their opinions and ideas about multitasking, and also how it has affected their college career. I will use the data gathered from that along with find other articles and useful sources about the phenomenon of multitasking. It should be a fun one :)