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It is no longer news that email interrupts our train of thought and can spoil concentration. The report below was published in 2005, and since then the researchers have pumped out many more studies. They have also been saying that email, smartphones and the rest are neither good nor bad; how we manage them (or don’t), that is the problem.

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a report by Martin Wainright in the Guardian.

Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached “startling” levels, according to a  survey, which found that “respondents’ minds were all over the place”, and both productivity and the ability to focus dropped as they grappled with the questions and challenges presented by each new email that arrived in their inbox.

Other negative effects were fatigue, and an average IQ loss of 10 points, more than double that found in studies of cannabis users.

What to do about it

Given what we all know, or at least have suspected, it is surprising that people become so slavishly attached to the technology in their pockets. Its one of those situations where ‘we all complain about it but we all continue to do it’.

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Read the full article at: Guardian Unlimited

 

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