The effects of multitasking on the brain and the way we're wired has been the subject of countless studies, radio shows, and articles. But a new study soon to be released explores the social and emotional effects of media multitasking on kids.
Stanford professor Roy Pea presented some intriguing findings of a survey at the Digital Media & Learning Conference. Pea and his colleague Cliff Nass surveyed more than 3,400 girls age 8 to 12 -- a "key period for social-emotional development" -- examining how "video use and media multitasking correlates with ... social well being and friendship."
In other words, how does all this media use affect how kids feel?
Here's what Pea presented at the conference.
The survey, which reached out to readers of Discovery Girls Magazine from across the country -- all of whom had Web access -- most of them at home -- explored the social and emotional issues that come up while they're media multitasking. Some of the criteria: age, access or ownership of technology, relationship with friends who their parents think are bad influences, amount of sleep, what media they consume, what media they engage in while using other media, and their general social outlook.
In terms of media activities, the survey examined watching videos, listening to music, reading or doing homework, emailing or sending messages, posting on Facebook, texting or instant-messaging, talking on the phone or video chatting, as well as the great old medium of face-to-face conversation (which is now considered a medium).