Modern life isn’t just rubbish, it’s potentially bad for you. Researchers at UCSF have found evidence that multitasking may actually impede short term memory, with the constant distractions offered by smartphones and social networks also spelling trouble for long term memory and overall mental performance.
(In support of the above, I’ve checked email since typing the last sentence, just in case something new happened that my multithreaded work routine might have missed.)
The recently-published study discovered that frequent multitaskers are actually worse at multitasking, because they’re more easily distracted by useless information – a result, the researchers believe, of their brains losing the ability to successfully filter out irrelevant data and stay on target. Scientists at UCSF claim that more research is needed before suggesting specific remedies to this problem, but agree that spending less time being distracted and more time concentrating on one thing at a time wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Clearly, this is advice I should tweet and Facebook about before I do anything else. If only I could remember what we were talking about…
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