The San Francisco Chronicle ran two fascinating — if disturbing — articles Sunday on the ways in which computers and PDAs may be affecting our ability to concentrate, relate, and even be productive. You can see them here and here.
The articles note that using the Internet and especially being overly tied to our PDAs, Twitter streams, and Facebook pages can result in decreased patience, concentration, and ability to “analyze things with any depth and nuance,” as one psychologist notes. The quotes from Bay Area folks who feel they’re addicted to their computers, PDAs, or Facebook pages are poignant and a little scary. As one woman reports, “My husband has even banned my BlackBerry from the dining table as I was too obsessed with checking and responding to emails, checking my fantasy football stats and seeing if there were any new updates on Facebook.”
I’d still love to hear how you all are coping with the constant demands and interruptions posed not only by PDAs, but by IM, Facebook, Twitter, or just day-to-day emails. Is your attention span getting shorter? Do you feel compelled to keep checking for updates? Do you think you’re more effective now — or less?