Is too much e-mail turning us into lab rats?

Filed in Gather Technology News Channel by on December 10, 2010 0 Comments

We all know someone, maybe even ourselves, who are basically addicted to e-mail. They check it constantly, refresh at every chance and log on even during work. Now a new study says that e-mail has effectively turned office workers into lab rats who crave social interaction so desperately that they check their e-mail compulsively. Does this describe you or someone you know?

Woman using laptop, email, online shopping, browsing the internet
Nicholas Carr, a former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, says that the increased levels of information we get from our computers and smart phones has caused what he calls a “bottleneck” in the brain, preventing any deep thoughts. Maybe this is why we’ve all become so single minded as of late?
Carr, also said email exploits the basic human instinct to search for new information,  which has as a result caused us to become addicted to our e-mail.

There is a steady stream of evidence beginning to emerge about the overload we get from e-mail, social networking and smart phones. Researchers say that this is damaging our ability to make our thoughts meaningful.

Carr told Esquire magazine in an interview that “Our gadgets have turned us into hi-tech lab rats, mindlessly pressing levers in the hope of receiving a pellet of social or intellectual nourishment. What makes digital messages all the more compelling is their uncertainty. There’s always the possibility that something important is waiting for us in our inbox …[which] overwhelms our knowledge that most online missives are trivial.”

It seems that the British are the worst because they check their e-mails at least 30 times an hour. That means they check their e-mail once every two minutes. Is that overly obsessed? It seems so!

Do you feel like e-mail has turned us into lab rats? The world is addicted to modern technology, with our smart phones giving us a chance to interact with others in the digital world at anytime. Is it all too much for our brains to handle? Soon, we may find, that people are having breakdowns from e-mail overload.

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