01 May 2006

Damn The Torpedoes...

Time to put on the breaks:
"Speed kills. That used to refer to the dangers of driving too fast, and sometimes to the drug. Now it more ominously refers to the unhealthy pace at which we live our lives, coerced by rampaging technology into cramming as much as possible into our waking hours. This isn't good for an individual's well-being. But even if you're indifferent to everyone's need for a little wa, the bean counter in you should appreciate this: It's also counterproductive.
Numerous studies link falling worker productivity to the advent of e-mail, mobile phones, BlackBerries and instant messaging. The ability to communicate instantaneously, around the clock (or, if you prefer, 24/7), with colleagues and clients may seem like a good idea at first blush. But healthy humans know when to down tools and head for the hills. The problem is that we're always on the grid now, always reachable and constantly bombarded, blurring the distinction between work and leisure time.
One recent study, commissioned by a manufacturer of organizational products and reported by Reuters, concluded that technology has sped things up to the point where, paradoxically, everything is slowing down.
"We never concentrate on one task anymore," said John Challenger, CEO of a Chicago outplacement consultancy. "You take a little chip out of it, and then you're on to something else. It's harder to feel like you're accomplishing something."
Here's the whole thing. (Via Arts & Letters Daily.) In this connection, one might like to take a look back at Lauren Winner's piece, "Sleep Therapy."


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