Many of us like to multitask, performing more than one activity at the same time. But research shows that your multitasking habits may be ruining your mental health.
A study at Michigan State University finds that using multiple forms of media at the same time, like playing a computer game while watching TV, is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“We don’t know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and social anxiety, or if it’s that people who are depressed and anxious are turning to media multitasking as a form of distraction from their problems,” says researcher Mark Becker.
While overall media use among American youth has increased 20 percent in the past decade, the amount of time spent multitasking with media spiked 120 percent during that period, Becker observes.