A ‘nation of media multi-taskers’

while media convergence is making the media platforms more collective and attractive, it has given rise to a specific audience behaviour, known as social or organic convergence,–basically it means to  use different forms of media at one time. we may all have being through this — sitting in the living room watching TV programmes, while having a laptop or tablet on our laps to browse websites or play games, meanwhile constantly checking our smart phones to see if there is any message. If you find yourself to be such a “media stacker”, don’t worry, it has already become a national phenomenon in the UK. according to a survey conducted by Ofcom in 2013, 59% of people use their smartphones and tablets for completely unrelated activities while watching TV every week (that’s ‘media stacking’)ukcm-1-22

Research has also showed that younger adults(our generation) takes more time on media stacking, which has probably impacted our academic life. A large portion of students uses digital technologies for off-task purposes during classroom lectures, with social networking (especially Facebook, instant messaging, texting, emailing, and web-browsing being used most commonly. One experimental study compared the impact of using 4 different technologies for off-task purposes including MSN, email, texting and Facebook, to three control groups during real classroom lectures. The three control groups included one group of students who were free to use any amount of technologies as they wished including any on-task or off-task purposes. The other two groups were on-task note-takers who took notes either on paper or on a laptop. The results showed that students in the MSN and Facebook conditions scored lower on a memory test than the paper notes control group.

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2 Comments

  1. That’s a great example of social convergence! The statistics provided by you are really surprising. However, it’s quite comforting that I’m not the only one who is a ‘media stacker’. On the other hand it clearly shows how addicted we are to new media and how bad influence they can have on us. How many students are surfing on the Internet instead of listening or participating in the classes? We have to try to win with this addiction and pay more attention to task which we are currently doing if we want to be effective. I will be trying hard now.. 🙂

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  2. Reading your post, I can definitely identify as a “media stacker” and I think many others will agree. I am definitely a culprit of doing a bit of online shopping or rather online browsing (due to the cost of University) whilst watching something else online. Now that ‘multi-tasking’ due to media convergence is such a go-to (as you mentioned, from our phones we can listen to music, instant message, stalk the lives of celebrities on Instagram etc.) I wonder what other negative impacts it has other any reducing our attention span. However, it has made sourcing information for our studies much easier!

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