Thursday, April 28, 2005

Emails Damages IQ More Than Drugs

Marijuana may be damaging to your mental sharpness and sense of reasoning, but so are electronic mails. And yes, you read that right! This was reported by CNN.com, that a study by a psychiatrist at King's College London University, Dr. Glenn Wilson, in 80 clinical trials proved this.

What makes emails harmful to health, is not the nature of the mails sent through electronic systems. That is perfectly harmless. Instead, what concerns the study is the mail alert provided by most emailing service provider.

Most computers which connect to the internet would have the downloaded version of these alerts. Whenever there are new electronic messages, there would be a pop up announcing the arrival of the new message. Thus, there would be a steady inflow of messages.

These alerts, according to Dr Wilson, are a distraction to the concentration, especially when the receiver of the alerts are working or studying. So basically this does not only concerns the emails, but also includes other forms of instant messaging alerts such as sms. It is damaging, in such a way that it reduces mental sharpness and IQ.

Here, are the excerpts from the CNN.com report:

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.

"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.

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