Back in the hills and it’s just great being out of all the heavyweight action in the city. Unwinding in the midst of nature with good music and super vibes just does so much good for the soul that the liberating effect is nearly immediately apparent. No change in the quantum of ‘official’ work though, so the laptop is consistently online and every so often is spent attending to the usual. The environment is the big difference. ‘Work’ in Colombo is fraught with bummers – getting into the right clothes, getting to work, the ‘office’ number, personal interaction with quite a few folk and all the resulting effects, hassling the traffic back and the accumulating stress that’s slowly dissipating as home is achieved. Here, however, there’s none of that, except for some amount of personal interaction, and the ‘work’ is mainly via laptop and phone. What a difference!

Anyway, between writing a report and answering mail I was checking out some blogs and flashed on a Lair inhabited by a Fiery Dragon where there was a reference to ‘infomania’ being worse than marijuana. The reference was to a report from the BBC News site dated Friday, April 22, 2005, and here’s an extract in case you are interested – and you probably are, being obviously into blogging or whatever other interest you have in blogging to be reading this. So check it out. If you smoke marijuana it may make greater sense – or nonsense, depending on where your head is at and if you don’t, you probably won’t know what some of it really  means – or if it is distorted in any way. In any event, this is by no means a suggestion that you go out and try smoking some, just to get a better perspective of the content of the piece. You know what I mean – so here goes:

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.

What do you think? Is it too late for that IQ test?