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Does Email Make You Dumb?

Bill Nussey, Silverpop
by: Bill Nussey (@bnussey)
03 May 2005

In case you got stoned, and you missed it, email has made the news again.

A new study, commissioned by Hewlett Packard and carried out by University of London researchers, concludes that email can have an addictive, drug-like grip, leading to confusion, lethargy, and loss of productivity. In fact, the constant interruption of checking and replying to messages is so deleterious, that it actually lowered the IQ of the study's 1,100 participants by more than double that of smoking marijuana: Chronic email-checkers temporarily lose 10 points, while pot-smokers lose only four.

After considering the findings, a colleague suggested an alternative conclusion that could be drawn from the data. She said maybe the problem isn't email's impact on your IQ, but rather, that British pot isn't very good.

(In the interest of fair disclosure, I wrote this after checking my email. You be the judge.)




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