Saturday, April 23, 2005
London - We all know that technology has its advantages, but a new survey has revealed startling results.
E-mails, text and phone messages pose a greater threat to your IQ than smoking dagga, a survey, commissioned by technology firm Hewlett Packard, has found.
Eighty volunteers took part in clinical trials on IQ deterioration and 1 100 adults were interviewed.
Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached "startling" levels and e-mails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip, according to a report on The Guardian.
Apparently the brain finds it hard to cope with juggling lots of tasks at once, thereby reducing its effectiveness.
Respondents' minds were all over the place as they faced new questions and challenges every time an e-mail dropped into their inbox.
"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist from King's College, London University, told The Guardian.
The average IQ loss was reportedly measured at 10 points, more than double the four point fall found in studies of dagga users.
The most damage was done, according to the survey, by the almost complete lack of discipline in handling e-mails.
Wilson and his colleagues found a compulsion to reply to each new message, leading to constant changes of direction which inevitably tired and slowed down the brain.
In fact, he said it is a recipe for muddled thinking and poor performance, but the most effective way to deal with the problem is to "switch things off".
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