Many of us do it and think it doesn’t hurt anything — we multitask between watching television and working on the computer, whether it’s surfing the web, posting an update to Facebook or Twitter, or uploading our latest photos to Flickr. We multitask on the computer, with the TV on in the background, and believe we are “watching” TV.
But are we really? How much multitasking are we really doing, and how much do we think we’re doing? How often are we switching between tasks over the course of 30 minutes? Take a guess right now. Do you switch your attention 20 times while watching a TV show? 40 times?
Researchers found the average amount of attention switching done in their study was 120 times in one 27.5 minute period. That averages out to more than 4 times a minute. That’s 4 times a minute your brain is trying to switch gears and make sense out of a new set of visual (and auditory) stimuli.
What else did the researchers find out?