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Emily Hartung is a successful college student at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania studying Communication Design. She has always been fascinated by the world of Advertising and Social Media, and hopes to offer a unique take on today's changing tech world from the younger generation's perspective.
Sep 19, 2016
As anyone who has once been a teenager or is in the process of raising teens can agree, multitasking and learning go hand in hand when it comes to trying to be successful in all aspects of teenage life. Teens swear that by multitasking they are getting more done and it helps them focus. But we have all heard the arguments from scientists and researchers; to work efficiently we must focus on a single task – which means no multi-tasking!
But in the end, both teens and parents give in to temptation and end up multitasking. Its so common that it is hard to recognize that you or your teens are doing it: we have our phone open to our emails on our lunch “break,” we have our laptop open while we are watching TV, and most commonly teens have music or the TV on while they are supposed to be working on that homework assignment or project.
A surprising fact that researchers have found is that “People who multitask are NOT being more productive – they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.” So really, even though your teen may say that they are getting more work done efficiently while they have Netflix on in the background and they are texting all their friends, they are just feeling a sense of satisfaction for getting all that done at once and not actually getting a great deal done.
Teenage students are also at a higher risk for developing an addiction to all that tech they are using while they are “multitasking.” The teenage brain is still developing and growing up until your early 20s (and possibly even later). This means that the areas of the brain that control impulse control and risk-taking behavior are some of the last to be fully developed.
In today’s world of continuing technological advances, it is easy for teens to get sucked into the world of laptops, tablets, smart phones and many other devices when they are trying to work. As a young college student myself, I admit I am quite guilty of getting easily distract by my smart phone or laptop. I definitely have moments when I am trying to get work where I have to take a step back and say, “Should I really be checking my emails, my phone or my laptop right now?” In a world where teens and students are encouraged to use technology to make their lives and workload easier, it is important as parents to encourage your children not to depend on today’s technology to accomplish every task.
Dependency on smart phones and tablets to finish work or even relax is fueling the new “tech-addiction” that more and more teens are experiencing daily. Even though the convenience and capabilities that this tech offers can be seen as an advantage, encourage your teen to make some time to connect with people and the world around them. Nothing helps a growing teenage brain more than a little face-time and the potential to make great memories with friends and family.
Here are some household rules to adjust your family’s digital behavior to reduce the risk of tech dependency and “tech-addiction” for your growing teens and the rest of the family: