Sometimes it seems it’s the only way to get things done. We call it multi-tasking; scientists call it cognitive overload. It’s become a way of life at the office and at home, but the question is whether in the end we benefit. Good article about this from Seattle Times. Interesting discussion at Slashdot.
Reading email or surfing sites is one common way people multitask. In Dec. 30 NY Times “Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing” it says a current study shows “an hour of time spent using the Internet reduces face-to-face contact with friends, co-workers and family by 23.5 minutes, lowers the amount of time spent watching television by 10 minutes and shortens sleep by 8.5 minutes.” Article repeats something I’d read recently that younger people use instant forms of online communication and many only use email to communicate with older folks, like their parents.