The coming hell of 24/7 communication

Instantaneous, computer-driven communication is becoming a curse, not a boon. It was supposed to free us; it is enslaving us. It was supposed to allow us to concentrate on essentials; it is becoming a pervasive distraction. It was supposed to simplify life through immediate access to information; it is complicating what we do by information overload. In administration it is an addiction that is reducing efficiency. It is increasing work time, disrupting leisure and intensifying stress.

Consider one aspect of this dangerous addiction – increasing dependence on e-mails and instant messaging. The e-mail problem is summed up in a remark by Thomas Boston, an economics professor at Georgia Tech and owner of the Enquant research firm: “Most people I know spend more time checking emails than reading for knowledge or pleasure. I can easily spend three hours each day on email-related tasks”.  Email communication is seen as a godsend that helps us communicate easily and quickly with people all over the world. But it has a downside which is costly in terms of reduced office productivity and invasion of individual space.

According to the New York-based Deloitte and Basex-research firms, 40 million emails are sent daily in America, wiping out two hours of work every day per white collar worker and 28 billion hours a year at a cost of ….

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