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Face the Facts: Multitaskers may be on road to 'frazzled' brains

My brain has finally refused to stop working — and in this day and age, I don’t really blame it.

From the moment I stepped onto campus, my mind has become drastically overloaded with daily assignments, causing my multitasking button to finally break.

It’s time I figuratively press the easy button or, in other words, start doing one thing at a time. At least, that would be the most ideal situation.

According to the Stanford Report, a daily publication at Stanford University, people who regularly juggle several streams of information do not pay attention, do not control their memories, and cannot switch from one task to another as well as those who prefer to focus on one thing at a time.

Meaning those crazy multitasking workers in the world, namely me, are actually facing repercussions that include more than just the occasional panic attack.

For years, the workload of students throughout the country has increased — along with expectations. Not because we want this to happen, but because it’s expected to happen.

This includes maintaining a 20-hour class schedule, a job, extracurricular activities and somehow still finding time for a life outside all that mayhem. It seems everyone has added an extra 24 hours to each day, my self included.

Why do we do this to ourselves? What reason do we have to run ourselves ragged day in and day out just to feel productive? Why can’t we just pick one task, one project and stick with it? The answer: It’s because we have to.

Although the Stanford Report might be right, our generation has become a multitasking one, thanks to technology and other innovations. News articles are tweeted and posted within minutes, emails are sent almost as often as text messages and schoolwork has become an hours-long project on a nightly basis — after work of course.

Our generation can no longer sit down and enjoy the silence. Instead, our generation must work. And with the recession, a decrease in number of jobs and an increase in competition, I don’t blame them.

Despite the repercussions the report so politely pointed out to the world, I have to disagree to some extent.

The other day, a fellow student said, “once is an accident and twice is a habit.” Would you rather have one project done well or many done at the same lower caliber? Would you rather your success become a daily habit instead of a once-in-a-while type of thing?  

It has become a common belief that a life of multitasking will lead to a lifetime full of success, even if it leads to a frazzled mind as well. It just depends on the person in relation to what type of success that is and what price they are willing to pay.

Since coming to Ohio University, I have humored myself by guaranteeing a day of relaxation and fun once a week.

Instead, that one day becomes like all the rest, 24 hours of extra projects, phone calls, bills, homework and to-do lists. It’s what our generation does — it’s what I do — and I have a feeling it’s what the rest of the world will do, if they aren’t already.

Lindsay Friedman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Email her at lf328610@ohiou.edu.

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