Management-Issues | Myra White
Does your life involve jumping from email, to tweets, to instant messages, to texts, to voice messages, to incoming mobile calls? Do you feel that you must stop what you are doing every few minutes and take a quick look at that text message clanging on your mobile or check the weather report on the internet or read the email that flashed a few lines on the edge of your screen as it plopped into your inbox?
Does it seem like you've been working hard but you have little to show for all the energy you've expended?
Do you feel stressed and frustrated at the end of the day because you just can't seem to get on top of your life?
Welcome to the technology treadmill – the new virtual world where we all work harder but get less done and where our hopes and dreams are dashed on our high-tech keyboards because we don't have time to pursue them.
Technology has brought us wonderful tools for exchanging information. One can find out almost anything on the internet and we can be in constant communication with everyone we know at all times and even share our personal phone conversations with the person in the next toilet stall (a practice now sweeping the US).
The problem is that for most of us our technological tools now manage us. They teach us to pick up our mobile when we hear there is a message, drop what we are doing when we get email and twiddle away our time browsing the internet.
The question is whether this is making us more productive and happier. Is it enriching our lives, or has it made us into automatons who just do whatever our technological tools demand at the moment.
New research suggests that technological tools are hard on our brains. Our brains get worn out from responding to their incessant demands. Eventually we lose our ability to concentrate on any one task for more than a few minutes which in turn impairs our ability to perform complex tasks and devise creative solutions to problems.