Q:

All of my high-school friends seem to be multitasking all the time. In class they text during discussions. When they do homework, they also tweet or spend time on Facebook. Most of them get good grades. My parents have made homework a technology-free time. It doesn't seem fair. It isn't like I'm addicted and staying in contact with my friends every minute of the day. -- No Multitasker

A:

If only our brains had a limitless capacity to process information, think of all the things we could do at the same time. At your age, a majority of teens now seem to be trying to do their schoolwork while staying in frequent contact with their friends electronically. Unfortunately, if you multitask while studying, you are not really doing two things simultaneously, but switching back and forth rapidly from task to task.

According to David Pisoni, Chancellor's Professor of Psychology at Indiana University: "Memory and attention are limited. Students don't realize that when they study and engage in other activities, that multitasking comes at a price." The price is not learning as much as they would without multitasking.

Teens in middle school and high school need to learn how to balance academics and using social media. Your parents, by their rules, have forced you to manage your study time with limited distractions. You have quality study time, which is far more important than the quantity of studying that you do. In the future, it should become your responsibility to focus on academic tasks without distractions.