Feeds

Email destroys the mind faster than marijuana - study

Are we feeling munchy?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.