Home > Uncategorized > The Ethics of Multitasking

The Ethics of Multitasking


Here’s why multitasking is unethical.

When you multitask, you’re doing a lot of work, but you’re not doing most (or any) of it well. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that people who fired off e-mails while talking on the phone and watching YouTube videos did each activity less well than those who focused on one thing at a time. Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! (Ballantine, 2006), puts it this way: “Multitasking is shifting focus from one task to another in rapid succession. It gives the illusion that we’re simultaneously tasking, but we’re really not. It’s like playing tennis with three balls.”

I believe that multitasking is something that we all do, but I don’t think its something that anyone has mastered properly. We all try to do a lot of things at once, but none of use give any of the task 100% of our effort. When I try to do a variety of tasks at once I tend to struggle more than if I would have just done one task at a time.

I believe that when some one try to multitask they try to take control of many situations at once, but I truly believe that they are just being controlled. The tasks are actually controlling them, they really have no control or organization of the tasks at hand.

Yes, I know it’s hard to put those devices away, even for a few moments. I’m not sure whether BlackBerrys and iPhones cause attention problems or simply make those who are susceptible more prone to them. It doesn’t help that everywhere we go, we’re surrounded by people who are absorbed in their electronic gadgets. What it comes down to is this: Are you controlling the technology, or is the technology controlling you?

So, I believe that we all should just take time to complete one task at a time in a timely, organized fashion. Its proven that if we just do one thing at a time our lives will be less stressed and in the end we will have more done in the end.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rbrow123
    September 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I also agree that multitasking does more harm than good. Everyone has tried to do too much at once sometimes, and it almost always has negative results. Unfortunately, the college environment often forces college students to multitask, especially when there are multiple exams on the same day to prepare for. Therefore, I do not believe that this issue will be going away anytime soon.

    R. Brow

  2. krismj88
    November 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I also agree that multitasking is not something that is going to be going away very soon. The environment we live in, especially the college one, makes multitasking acceptable. I feel like I have to be able to multitask and take on more projects to get ahead. And even when my cell phone is turned off and facebook is not up I’m still thinking of what project I’m going to be tackling next. Although multitasking does slow down the process, I’d love to know how the college work expects you to go to school, work, write papers, take leadership roles, take internships, and socialize without it.

  3. laraitan
    November 29, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I agree that when you multi task you are not accomplishing the tasks at hand fully 100%. I feel like though in order to get by in life you need to multi task. Especially when you’re working, going to college, and raising a family it makes it hard to do everything. Life is hard these days and it take 2 people to get through it. This is an issue that will be around for a while unless someone realizes that Americans work too hard and someone gives us a break. Colleges put way too much work and pressure on the students and I fell that if there was less work to be done than students would get better grades with an easier work load.

  4. twinpate
    December 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I think its crazy to say multitasking is unethical. Today’s business world encourages high production no matter the cost. If one cannot multitask then they could be seen as inferior to other employees that can. As long as multitasking is not juggling a work task with a non-work task the ethical validity of it should not be questioned.

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