Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Have Mail ... I think, maybe not ... I forget

Reading the newspaper yesterday I noticed a headline that probably caught many eyes.


The sub-heading read, “Turn off Your PC, TV and iPhone, put down your coffee, and read this.”

So I read it while I continued to eat my Chick-fil-A.  Well, it didn’t say anything about putting down your nuggets and lemonade.

Here’s a few facts I learned over lunch:
  • Office workers switch among computer programs (like work software and email and Facebook) about 37 times an hour.
  • The Unv. of CA Irvine found that people interrupted by emails report increased stress compared to those left to focus.
  • Stress hormones reduce short-term memory. 
  • While heavy multitaskers believe it makes them more productive, research shows they actually have more trouble focusing and experience more stress. Remember more stress = forgetful.
  • Less than 3% of the population can easily juggle multiple information streams well. Scientists at the Unv. of Utah call them “supertaskers.”
What I found most interesting in this article was this:

“Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.”

In other words, always checking messages, tweets, blog comments, texts, and FB status updates can not only distract us but stress us. It can dampen our memory, steal our joy and leave us bored with everyday, non-wired life.  Hummm. Do you agree?

So I wonder, are you a supertasker?  Or do you fall in with the other 97% of us?

Thankful for technology - God, help me use it wisely! 


  1. AnonymousJune 08, 2010

    A supertasker! I haven't had the opportunity to become one. I do clean up as I cook though , lol. I like doing one thing at a time :)

    I love Chick-fil-A! I had the honor of introducing it to my husband last year when we went to Texas to visit my parents. I found out we have a few in California - only 2 hours away. The tea is worth the drive! Thanks to your post I found something to do this weekend :)

  2. I am going to share this post with hubby. He always has so much e-mail at work he can't be productive with what he really needs to do!

    Chick-Fil-A here in Newtown PA put a new sign out today "Introducing the Spicy Chicken Sandwich". Woo Hoo.....can't wait to try it!!! Spicy is right up my multi-tasking alley! :)

  3. Hello, I'm Angie and I'm a "crackberry" addict.:-)

    Oh, how easy it is to get wrapped up in technology. I have a BlackBerry. Self explained. Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, texting, calender reminders and BlackBerry Messenger! And anyone that knows me knows that it is another appendage. LOL If I need to be reached, I am Johnny on the spot with it. I respond instantly. I jokingly told someone if it was was waterproof I would probably take it in the shower. It has lived up to the name "crackberry."

    I just can't help myself with the little red "wink" it gives me to let me know something is waiting.

    And sticking with the Chick-Fil-A theme.....that may be lunch today....add the peach milkshake!

  4. AnonymousJune 09, 2010

    Hmm, I am not sure what kind of tasker I am. I am still laughing at Angie's use of the term "crackberry" !!

  5. Supertasking is like having neon signs blinking all the time...that would be more than my mind could do...so I am content to just be in the 97 percent.
    Oh how I wish we had Chick-fil-a in my neck of the woods. I love their chicken.


  6. I might have been a multitasker when I worked, but I can't say that now. The blog, the emails and other things I do on the computer keep me busy which is a good thing - I think. It keeps my mind busy and since I've reached the ripe old age of 70 (yes I can say it now with thanks to God for letting me live this long) I've been told keeping your mind busy helps. It better than the alternative, watching TV all the time. Use to love Chic-fil-A but haven't had one in several years because of the salt.

    I miss the interaction with people that I worked with but God has given so many more friends to interact with.

    I could use the peach milkshake.
    Blessings, AE

  7. AnonymousJune 11, 2010

    This is so timely. I have gone fishing from Facebook to read and study the Word of God diligently for the next few weeks. I attended a Leadercast webinar a few weeks ago and it was suggested that we take at least 20 minutes at the start of the day to stay disconnected--no phone, no pc, no FB, nothing but silence. For me it is quiet, devotional time with my Father God....what a difference and a challenge. But, my days have been better and my focus clear. Be blessed today...

  8. AnonymousJune 12, 2010

    I read this yesterday and thought a little about it - I am big on email and texting with friends, chat a little on the small amount of time I spend on FB.
    Then, I went upstairs to try to sort through my girls' closet (ages 2, 4, and ) to weed out what doesn't fit is old and worn out, etc. As I was doing this, I had to pause to help my 2 yo change 3 different times, mediate a fight between the other two and field a phone call.... I then paused and realized why mothers are so stressed out! We are always multitasking - when was the last time I made dinner uninterrupted (probably 10 years ago before my son was born).
    So while, I know the article had to do with all the technological advances I think it applies to us multi-tasking moms. It explains why I get so stressed and frustrated by my kids some days, now I can hopefully begin to change some things to lessen that stress!

  9. That's an interesting line of thinking, Annon.

    True to her word here, I emailed Angie after her post and got an immediate response from her on her "crackberry".

    Lovin the Chick-fil-A love we all seem to have in common. Can't wait to try their spicy sandwhich.

  10. AnonymousJune 23, 2010

    It's funny that we say in our society, "we are what we eat" because the reality is that we are largely what we take into ourselves mentally, visually, auditorily, etc... Recently God let me know He wanted me to cut way back on my computer usage...WAY back. I did, a little, but when I did not finish the task the computer died. Hmmmm. The funny thing is that the less I am on the computer, the more satisfying I find my daily life.


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