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Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

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Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:35 am

I couldn't resist making this report in today's Guardian available to fellow Agorists. All part, of course, of a dastardly plot on my part to reduce your IQ's to a level as low as my own, already close to 0 from reading too much electronic mail....

Henri

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Martin Wainwright
Friday April 22, 2005

Guardian

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a survey of befuddled volunteers.
Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached "startling" levels in the trials by 1,100 people, who also demonstrated that emails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip.

Respondents' minds were all over the place as they faced new questions and challenges every time an email dropped into their inbox. Productivity at work was damaged and the effect on staff who could not resist trying to juggle new messages with existing work was the equivalent, over a day, to the loss of a night's sleep.

"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," said Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist from King's College, London University, who carried out 80 clinical trials for TNS research, commissioned by the IT firm Hewlett Packard. The average IQ loss was measured at 10 points, more than double the four point mean fall found in studies of cannabis users.

The most damage was done, according to the survey, by the almost complete lack of discipline in handling emails. Dr Wilson and his colleagues found a compulsion to reply to each new message, leading to constant changes of direction which inevitably tired and slowed down the brain.

Manners are also going by the board, with one in five of the respondents breaking off from meals or social engagements to receive and deal with messages. Although nine out of 10 agreed that answering messages during face-to-face meetings or office conferences was rude, a third nonetheless felt that this had become "acceptable and seen as a sign of diligence and efficiency".

In fact, it is a recipe for muddled thinking and poor performance, said Dr Wilson, who also called for restraint by the two-thirds of people who check work emails out of office hours and even on holiday. He said: "Companies should encourage a more balanced and appropriate way of working."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:58 am

Ooops, bad news for a Nagarozoku.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:53 am

who also demonstrated that emails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip.

I would say that about the Agora. I've lost count how many times a day I check in to see if there's a new post.

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Postby KatyBr » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:21 am

Like anything else, one must choose one's addictions. I have few, perhaps others have physical addictionsthat set them on the edge, ready to be over-amped by an email...

Katy
not bragging, I've been blessed with having a non-addictive personality. It must be hard for those who become attached to a chemical or other 'substance' easily.
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Postby Apoclima » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:49 pm

I have really set limits on my time on the internet!

I don't log in when I'm asleep, and I don't log in at work anymore at all (cause there's no computer there now)!

And I feel good about it!

Apo
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:16 pm

*sounds of applause, and laughter*

Katy :lol:
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Postby tcward » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:31 pm

I rely on e-mail to get my job done at work. I have to say, it's much easier to concentrate on getting the intended message across using e-mail sometimes.

Of course, being in a call center of sorts, sometimes the customers calling in are not what I would call prepared to handle the tasks before them.

Perhaps that is why I find composing text messages more relaxing and less distracting.

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:31 pm

The Guardian has followed up the above article with a Quiz: has email befuddled your brain?. Alas, after overcoming my trepidations and taking the quiz, I found my worst fears confirmed. This is how the journal analysed my responses :

It might not be email that has made you stupid, but something has, and coffee is now the only thing supporting your higher brain function. Was that sentence too long for you? Stop. Checking. Your. Email. Try reading something to rebuild your concentration. Start with the television listings. Work up to a magazine article.


Alas, I don't even drink coffee ! The above only corroborates what fellow Agorists who have followed the sad trajectory of my intellectual descent into pure inanity must have long suspected : the end is nigh ! Wish me well in my computer (or otherwise)-induced senility....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:40 pm

Alas, I don't even drink coffee ! The above only corroborates what fellow Agorists who have followed the sad trajectory of my intellectual descent into pure inanity must have long suspected : the end is nigh ! Wish me well in my computer (or otherwise)-induced senility....

An idiot could never craft such a mellifluous sentence. :wink:

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:05 pm

Et tu, BD ?...

Henri
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:07 pm

Et ego, Henri.

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Postby KatyBr » Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:22 pm

just a bit off-topic, re: email makin' one stupid. I do find it difficult to read large portions of text on a computer, books held at the proper eye-distance and in a comfy chair, oh my so much easier. But after I get my new glasses designed just for computer reading, well, I'll be all set then won't I?

Katy
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Postby gailr » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:28 pm

It might not be email that has made you stupid, but something has, and coffee is now the only thing supporting your higher brain function. Was that sentence too long for you?

I-1DR: e-S2pid B/C no F2F w/NE1 NEmor?

Tks 2 long [6T 2ndz] 2C @2L wrdz? :-@

YB lern-N 2 RD-N-RT? G2TU SH8KSPR S 2 hrd 2 rd! [but cn u rd ths?] GIGO mo X-I-10, UC. %-(

CUL8R, TTFN @}>----,---
g

A steady diet of this would lower anyone's performance by standard IQ measurements.
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Postby Apoclima » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:39 pm

Wow! You know your stuff, gailr! Is that as painful to read as it was to write?

Ouch! My brain is short-circuiting!

Apo
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Postby KatyBr » Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:00 pm

gailr wrote:
I-1DR: e-S2pid B/C no F2F w/NE1 NEmor?

Tks 2 long [6T 2ndz] 2C @2L wrdz? :-@

YB lern-N 2 RD-N-RT? G2TU SH8KSPR S 2 hrd 2 rd! [but cn u rd ths?] GIGO mo X-I-10, UC. %-(

CUL8R, TTFN @}>----,---
g


Gailr, I believe you are off by a factor of two....
Shouldn't it read at the end....GIGO mo X-I-10, UC. %-(

CUL8R, TTFN @}>----,/!...?
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