A recent Psychology Today article says GPS may get people to their destinations faster, but in the process they’ve loosing the ability to think through navigation problems themselves–a skill that trains our brain to solve other problems too.
Other research on “Infomania” says workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers. The study even warns of people becoming addicted to email and text messages finding that 62% of people checked work messages at home or on vacation. More than 50% said they always responded to an email “immediately” or as soon as possible, but people constantly interrupting tasks to react to email or text messages suffer similar effects on the mind as losing a night’s sleep.
Similarly a recent Wall Street Journal column cited growing evidence that multitasking erodes, rather than enhances, productivity. As people divide their attention between two even seemingly simple tasks–like reading email while talking on the phone–comprehension, concentration and short-term memory suffer. Research also indicates that switching from one job to another eats up more time than waiting to finish one job before beginning the next.
Stress-management expert Jon Kabat-Zinn offers seminars and workshops on time-management. His secret? Mindfulness–doing one thing at a time–can add more hours to your day. You get more done, enjoy things more, and feel less stress.
Technology can connect people. It can also disconnect them. Technology can improve efficiency. It can also drain it. How long can you let an email or text or Tweet go without answering it?