Off topic: Feeling stupid? Perhaps you are checking your email too much!!
Thread poster: Monika Coulson

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:53
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English to Albanian
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Apr 23, 2005

A survey of 1,100 Britons

E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot'


LONDON, England -- Workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana, a British study shows.

The constant interruptions reduce productivity and leave people feeling tired and lethargic, according to a survey carried out by TNS Research and commissioned by Hewlett Packard.

The survey of 1,100 Britons showed:


  • Almost two out three people check their electronic messages out of office hours and when on holiday

  • Half of all workers respond to an e-mail within 60 minutes of receiving one

  • One in five will break off from a business or social engagement to respond to a message.

  • Nine out of 10 people thought colleagues who answered messages during face-to-face meetings were rude, while three out of 10 believed it was not only acceptable, but a sign of diligence and efficiency.


But the mental impact of trying to balance a steady inflow of messages with getting on with normal work took its toll, the UK's Press Association reported.

In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.

He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana.

"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," Wilson said. "We have found that this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness.

"Companies should encourage a more balanced and appropriate way of working."

Wilson said the IQ drop was even more significant in the men who took part in the tests.

"The research suggests that we are in danger of being caught up in a 24-hour 'always on' society," said David Smith of Hewlett Packard.

"This is more worrying when you consider the potential impairment on performance and concentration for workers, and the consequent impact on businesses."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/22/text.iq/index.html (CNN)




[Edited at 2005-04-23 04:51]


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Can Altinbay  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
Japanese to English
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Let's see, 9 + 3 make... Apr 23, 2005

Monika Coulson wrote:

A survey of 1,100 Britons

E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot'





  • Nine out of 10 people thought colleagues who answered messages during face-to-face meetings were rude, while three out of 10 believed it was not only acceptable, but a sign of diligence and efficiency.






[Edited at 2005-04-23 04:51]


It apparently causes schizophrenia also.


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Marsel de Souza  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:53
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Are we going to get more and more stupid? Apr 23, 2005

"The research suggests that we are in danger of being caught up in a 24-hour 'always on' society," said David Smith of Hewlett Packard.


Very interesting article, Monika! This is real food for thought.

Unfortunately it looks like we are moving towards this '24-hour always on society'. This reminds me of an excellent article published in the TIME Magazine a few years ago:

Will We Ever Log Off?
Eating, playing racquetball, brushing our teeth--surely we won't be doing everything online in the future? Don't be too sure
By ROBERT WRIGHT

During the past two years, the amount of time the average Internet user spends online each week has risen from 4.4 hours to 7.6 hours. If that annual growth rate, 31.5%, holds up, then in 2025 the average Internet user will spend 590 hours online per day!

O.K., so extrapolation has its limits as a predictive tool. Still, you have to wonder. As cyberspace absorbs more and more of our work, play, shopping and socializing, where will it all end? What activities will still be off-line in 2025?

(...)

http://www.time.com/time/reports/v21/live/online_mag.html

Cheers,
Marsel.


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Ballistic  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:53
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English to Dutch
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Appeal for higher rates Apr 24, 2005

I would like to take this opportunity to launch an appeal to all of you to up your rates.

If this survey is true, then not only the costs for health care and consequently health insurance will go up, but you will almost likely cross over into the "twilight zone" penniless. Come on now, let's enjoy ourselves while we're not at our wits' end yet and charge those customers more. It will sure feel better if the lights go out with a bang!


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xxxTatiana Nero  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
Russian
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How about your own free will? Apr 24, 2005

As cyberspace absorbs more and more of our work, play, shopping and socializing, where will it all end?

-------

With all due respect, I do not like to think about myself (or my colleagues) as automatons who just give in to addictive "pressures" of e-mailing.

E-mail is a great means of communication - nothing more, nothing less, and your free will is still with you, and you still can choose when (and if) you need to answer any of the e-mails.

I see no scare here at all. In the "pre-Internet" times people found other ways for their little compulsions. Many people find that doing something habitual every day (like reading a newspaper, having a coffee or going mammoth-hunting in the pre-newspaper times) gives your life the much-needed structure and sense of stability.

In fact, I find that e-mail actually saves me a lot of time. I can read e-mails when I choose and I can answer them also when I choose (and do it by portions, too - type a paragraph and leave it if you have to do something else, then type some more). This is a lot more preferrable for me than a telephone conversation that can tie you up not necessarily when you have time for it.

Also, to draw such long-shot conclusions and to pretend them to be of scientific value, one should run a parallel survey about other habitual activities done throughout the day (like performing their direct job functions) - and then figuring out if those might drop your IQ, too, and how much. There should be a basis of comparison for any statistically true and relevant analysis.

I believe, the "skies are falling" survey is a little immature. It's a management problem all right, and that's all it is. People can find many things to distract them from doing their jobs without any Internet. There should be strict policies in place in any office to enforce (and encourage) productivity. That does not mean that we need to throw out e-mailing. Try any other activity (translation included from morning till night - and you will also feel tired and letargic.

Good weekend to everybody!!


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 09:53
Member (2003)
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On the same topic :) Apr 24, 2005

"Emails 'pose threat to IQ'"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1465973,00.html

(Please copy and paste all of the address string into your browser.)

Uldis

[Edited at 2005-04-24 20:13]


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