Thursday, September 24, 2009

.. and the unbearable addictiveness of data

This piece from the Guardian about information overload addiction is so relevant to I suspect 105% of my audience I'm just going to quote most of it (originality is so last millennium):

"...In case you got sidetracked and didn't get a chance to read the rest, here are the cold, hard facts:

• A study found that once workers were interrupted by an email it took on average 24 minutes to return to the suspended task.

• 2,300 employees judged nearly one third of the emails they receive to be unnecessary, but spend two hours a day processing them.

• Research reported that the IQ scores of people distracted by email and phone calls fell from their normal level by an average of 10 points – twice the decline recorded for those smoking marijuana.

To be honest I had to go and sit in a dark corner without the ring of a phone in earshot or flash of a computer screen in sight in order to concentrate for long enough to bring you this blogpost, and even then it was tough. How we get anything done is a miracle.

But before your attention wanders elsewhere, please confess the tendencies you have noticed in yourself that may be symptoms of this very modern malady. Perhaps you are raising a BlackBerry orphan, or can't remember the last time you finished reading a novel."

Right I'm of to re-check Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Out-Law and LiveJournal :-)


Traveller28 said...

24 minutes to get back on track. I once went on a training course held by the "lovely" people at Reed and they said it was 8 minutes. Personally, it depends on the tone/content of the mail. If it's a jokey/spammy internal one I can crack on. If it's an operational/drop your trousers and close your eyes type of affair, a lot longer.

Unknown said...

During the recent, tragic, loss of my home PC I discovered that I did have time to boring things like clean the floor and cook.

So I went out and bought Beatles Rock Band.

I tend to pre-emptively distract now and have something playing on iPlayer to override distractions such as LJ, twitter and, well, this.

I'd say 24 minutes is a lot, though.

Joseph said...

Subtle irony.
Keep up the good work. Don't forget to blog about Apple Itunes and Eminem!!

Surreptitious Evil said...

Okay. Right. Give up Outlook and Gmail. Take up dope smoking. Improve your work relevance. Thanks, GMG, for that advice. I can't see it working away from the Farringdon Road.

BTW - Finished last novel at 6:45 this morning drinking my orange juice.