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How multi-tasking online is messing with your brain [Infographic]

Ever feel like you’re stretched too thin, flitting between fifteen different tabs in your browser and a few apps on your tablet all while scrolling through your Facebook notifications on your smartphone? Have you started wondering why you can’t concentrate on just one thing any more, and feel the need to tweet when you’re watching TV? Turns out you’re not alone.

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More

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In a hyper-connected world where messages are sent and received in real time, it’s not surprising that you’ve got a lot more on your plate than you used to. And it’s not all good news for your poor brain, according to this infographic.

It’s an increasingly mobile world — tablet sales are up, desktop computer sales are down — and people are spending more of their time online doing more than one thing at a time. The average internet user visits 40 websites a day and switches between applications more than 36 times in just an hour. But your brain can’t handle all the information it’s being asked to process, which is why the more things you’re doing at once, the more mistakes you make.

Are you a frequent multi-tasker? Chances are you’ll have difficulty sorting out your priorities and filtering out irrelevant information. More than 50% of Firefox users have more than two tabs open at a time, which is stretching their abilities — your brain can only switch between two tasks at a time. So if you’re taking on three or more, it’s going to start affecting your performance.

Right. I’m off to close some tabs.

Digital Stress and Your Brain
Infographic courtesy of: OnlineUniversities.com