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As described by wiki, "Infomania is the debilitating state of information overload, caused by the combination of a backlog of information to process (usually in email), and continuous interruptions from technologies like phones, instant messaging, and email. It is also understood as distraction caused by the urge to check email, text messaging and other sources of information, which causes the person to show symptoms to neglect other, often more important things - duties, family, etc. (For instance, a typical symptom of infomania is that of checking email frequently during vacation.)"

The term "infomania" has been used since the 1980's, but has only recently been used as a term for a psychological debility. The term was coined by Elizabeth M. Ferrarini, the author of 'Confessions of an Infomaniac' and 'Infomania-The Guide to Essential Electronic Services'. Ferrarini's 1984 Infomaniac book is the first book about life online. The very first installation of the book appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1982.

Many workers are always on standby to react to incoming messages. Workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers, new research has claimed.

The study for computing firm Hewlett Packard warned of a rise in "infomania", with people becoming addicted to email and text messages. Researchers found 62% of people checked work messages at home or on holiday. The firm said new technology can help productivity, but users must learn to switch computers and phones off.

Losing sleep

The study, carried out at the Institute of Psychiatry, found excessive use of technology reduced workers' intelligence. Those distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ - more than twice that found in studies of the impact of smoking marijuana, said researchers. More than half of the 1,100 respondents said they always responded to an email "immediately" or as soon as possible, with 21% admitting they would interrupt a meeting to do so.

The University of London psychologist who carried out the study, Dr Glenn Wilson, told the Daily Mail that unchecked infomania could reduce workers' mental sharpness.
Those who are constantly breaking away from tasks to react to email or text messages suffer similar effects on the mind as losing a night's sleep, he said.

View more on Infomania:
Infomania world
Time to fight back Infomania

source:bbc news

1 DWine Insight(s):

Thanks for referencing my book, Confessions of an Infomaniac

10 November, 2007  

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