Today's technology has replaced the smoking pot and cigar of the 70s. If you want to kill your brain cells in true 21st-century style, just stay on your cell phone and check your e-mail multiple times over the course of an afternoon.
A study commissioned by Hewlett-Packard shows that today's dependency on daily technology, including e-mail and cell phones, can be slightly more detrimental to your IQ than smoking marijuana. Conducted by scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, the study found that continual e-mail use and text-messaging lowered the average worker's IQ by as much as ten points. Smoking marijuana regularly, on the other hand, causes only a four-point drop in intelligence.
Dubbed "Info-Mania" by the UK team of researchers, the condition is a real and present problem for workers in the corporate environment. According to the study, 62 percent of adults are addicted to checking their e-mail and text messages.
A follow-up report from HP gives tips on how employees can prevent Info-Mania that includes dedicating a specific e-mail time, increasing the opportunity for face-to-face conversations, and restricting the use of technology during meetings and important tasks. The computer company also advocates helping colleagues prioritize their e-mail messages by stating intent in the subject line, as well as avoiding unnecessary electronic messages such as "Thanks." In addition, don't be afraid to take yourself offline and use an "out of office" reply while in meetings or taking downtime.
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