Posts Tagged ‘multitasking’

Do Not Give in to Technology

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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With the development of technology, studying became so much easier. Or harder? The opinions on that certainly differ.
On the one hand, we do not have to keep so many things in our memory anymore. If you have Internet access on your smartphone or laptop, you can always google things you need to know.
However, we often realize that our memory shrank significantly because it has lacked training since technological wonders became such an important part of our lives.
There were times when a cell phone was a luxury. Do you remember the first mobile devices we had? As for me, I recall my father’s enormous receiver. I thought then that it would be better to stay out of connection than to carry this thing around. Now there is a great variety of models and sizes, so we may choose the one that matches our needs.
In addition to calling and texting, mobile phones now allow us to check e-mail, facebook and twitter pages and to download necessary applications. Many students admit that they take notes or do homework on their smartphones. Isn’t it awesome? Yes, of course, as long as you do not do all these things while in class.
There were many studies on multitasking which show that parallel activities slow down our brain. Concentrating on one task helps a student to complete it in the best way possible, while trying to deal with multiple chores at the same time distracts the attention and leads to mistakes or misunderstanding. Therefore, even though there definitely is an important e-mail coming up, put your cell phone on silent, keep it in your bag and listen to what your professor is saying. It is not only polite, it also helps you to prepare for the next exam, as all professors usually test you on what they told you. In case you do not understand something, you can always ask questions and learn what you need. If you are constantly looking at your cell phone, professors usually think that you are playing with it, even if you look up words in a dictionary or check how much time left till the end of a class. Therefore, even if you ask questions, they will most likely believe that you were distracted and did not listen, and they will tell you to come back after class. And then students usually forget their questions, as their memory span is quite short nowadays. In other words, save yourself time and effort and prepare for your tests in class.
I also remember times when a computer was a rare thing. Now students in some universities are required to bring their laptops to use them during the class. I personally think that note taking on a laptop or a smartphone saves us a lot of paper and space. Sometimes I would be happy to keep my notes from past semester, but my room space is limited. It is especially true for people who have more than one roommate. I would be more than happy to keep everything on a CD or a flashdrive, so that any time I need to take a look at these notes, I can do that. It is also much easier to find necessary information if it is in digital form. You can search certain words, and they come out right away; no need to look through the whole notebook. However, the problem stays: laptops in class maybe quite distracting.
Should we say then that technolgy is destructive for our lives and our learning process? Of course, we should not. The only thing I would advise people to do is to use these means of technology rationally. Make them serve you, but not distract you or take over you. If you feel that you are too dependent on your cell phone or e-mail, go on a two-day hike where there is no network connection, and you will see that life will not stop or lose its beauty.

Ekaterina Lalo

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