The Multitasking Killer In The Shallows By Nicholas Carr

1731 Words7 Pages

The Internet, The Multitasking Killer Many people say that the internet is mankind’s greatest tool, but it is also mankind’s most distracting tool as well. Uncovering the truths of the internet’s negative effects became clear upon my introduction to, The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr. Prior to reading, I used to feel connected to the internet and was always one to multitask which made me wonder: is the internet’s addictive lure making us less effective at multitasking on both a productivity and neurological level? The internet forces us to multitask with all of the different tabs, apps, and programs a user can open simultaneouslyhave open at once. A single notification can make a user go from productive work to something else, which can often …show more content…

Hovhan refers to the internet as “electronic cocaine” which she uses to support her research and reasoning behind why multitasking causes alterations to neurological productivity pathways. As an internet user and multitasker myself, I felt the need to connect the research of these three sources. Although they all argue that internet multitasking is negative and has hindering implications, they each provide different unique evidence to highlight their claim. Through the culmination of these articles, it becomes clear that internet multitasking not only lowers our productivity, but also hurts our brains on a neurological level. Productivity research that utilizes systematic benchmark tests, is an easier way to measure the consequences of multitasking as brain scans are not needed to show results. Carr’s book The Shallows offers a broader view ofon the negative effects of multitasking and the experiments within his book outline the adverse effects on an internet user’s productivity. The Shallows speaks well with Hovhan’s article as both focus more on measuring negative effects on a productivity level through the experiments they portray. Apart from outlining experiments, Hovhan uniquely uses metaphors to compare and contrast technology …show more content…

Firth, initially, begins by giving a broad overview of areas of the brain that multitasking can affect which includes attention, memory, knowledge, and lastly social cognition (Firth). This compares closely to Hoven’s as she writes that multitasking can “reduce your brain’s capacity to store information, disrupt your thought process, and possibly even lower your IQ” (Hovhan). I personally have first handedly experienced the effects of internet multitasking. Previously, I have forgotten to do chores assigned by my parents as I was distracted by my phone when they were telling me. My brain was not able to successfully store the info, and my thought process was constantly being distracted by my phone. Apart from physical and productivity measurements, there were two main ways that neurological results were measured: neural changes in the frontal cortex, and IQ impact. A brain scan was performed on multitaskers vs. non-multitaskers and the neurological effects were evident. Firth writes that “multitasking was associated with significantly poorer overall cognitive performance, with a moderate-to-large effect size” (Firth). This is because of “neurocognitive alterations due to neural changes in cortical regions associated with sensory and motor processing” (Firth). Neural changes in the

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