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Tuesday, May 17, 2005
What's more harmful --- taking a hit on marijuana or keeping up with your e-mail and cell phone calls?

Surprisingly, it's latter, according to a study commissioned by Hewlett-Packard that found that excessive day-to-day use of technology -- whether it's sending e-mails or using cell phones -- can be more distracting and harmful to the IQ than smoking marijuana. Such distractions were found to temporarily lower the "average workers functioning IQ" by 10 points "when distracted by ringing telephones and incoming e-mails ...more than double the four-point drop seen following studies on the impact of smoking marijuana."

The study was conducted earlier this year for the technology company by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London. It involved 80 volunteers who took part in clinical trials and interviews with 1,100 subjects.

Believe it or Not!
The researchers warn of the "abuse of always-on technology" in which "workers are literally addicted to checking e-mail and text messages during meetings in the evening and weekends".

The label the phenomenon "Info-mania" and warns that, if unchecked, it "will damage [workers] performance by reducing their mental sharpness."

The research found that 62 percent of adults are addicted to checking e-mail and text messages. Half of the workers would "respond to an e-mail immediately or within 60 minutes". One in five reported being "happy to interrupt a business or social meeting to responmd to an e-mail or telephone messages."

The 10 point drop in IQ was the equivalent of missing a night's sleep, the company said.

Debra Meyerson, a professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, echoed the study's finding that "being accessible all the time is a source of stress".

"The boundaries between work and non-work are now constructed by people turining technology on and off", said Myerson, who is involved in a study on the impact of technology on everyday life.

(abstracted from: Scripps Howard News Service by: Benjamin Pimentel)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:43 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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