You’re on your computer all day at work. If you’re like most people, you’re constantly monitoring your smartphone as you type on your computer.
Then, once you get home, you surf the web while you watch your favorite TV shows.
This kind of device juggling is a ubiquitous practice, and one that has a name: Researchers call it “media multitasking,” and warn that it might actually be affecting your mental health.
Earlier research has linked information overload—caused by too many devices spitting out too much stimulus—to both depression and social anxiety.
In a new study, experts at Michigan State University sought to uncover the role that media multitasking might play in fostering that link. To find out, they recruited 319 people and asked each to fill out psychological profiles and questionnaires related to their use of popular media, including television, music, email, text messaging, and web surfing.