Feeds

Email destroys the mind faster than marijuana - study

Are we feeling munchy?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Modern technology depletes human cognitive abilities more rapidly than drugs, according to a psychiatric study conducted at King's College, London. And the curse of 'messaging' is to blame.

Email users suffered a 10 per cent drop in IQ scores, more than twice the fall recorded by marijuana users, in a clinical trial of over a thousand participants. Doziness, lethargy and an inability to focus are classic characteristics of a spliffhead, but email users exhibited these particular symptoms to a "startling" degree, according to Dr Glenn Wilson.

The deterioration in mental capacity was the direct result of the trialists' addiction to technology, researchers discovered.

Email addicts were bombarded by context switches and developed an inability to distinguish between trivial and significant messages. Incredibly, 20 per cent of trialists jeopardized their immediate social relations by rushing off to "check their messages" in the middle of a conversation.

Wilson's research is no flash in the pan. Computer technology in its modern, "interconnected" form is dumbing down the population more rapidly than television.

A study of 100,000 school children in over 30 countries around the world testified that non-computer using kids performed better in literacy and numeracy schools than PC-using children. Education experts have dubbed it the "problem solving deficit disorder".

Awash with facts, we've forgotten how to think.

King's College's pioneering study focussed solely on messaging - but there are many other emerging technologies that could be dumbing down technologies too, and their consequences haven't been fully explored.

World peace - through a computer [The Guardian]

We look forward to studies that examine the IQ lossage involved in the many other unavoidable parts of everyday life. Chores such as editing the Windows Registry (-2) , writing a weblog (-15), or reading the Ask Jack column in The Guardian (-175). ®

Related link

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Related stories

How computers make kids dumb
RIAA attacking our culture, the American Mind

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.