Calendar of Events
End Note - June 2012
Take A Vacation From E-mail This Summer
June 19, 2012
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the U.S. Army, concludes that a vacation from e-mail can be good for your health. According to the study, a group of workers who were cut off from office e-mail experienced more natural heart rates and switched among computer screens half as often as those with e-mail access. One of the study’s co-authors, professor of informatics Gloria Mark, was surprised by the results: “It’s possible that people might have been even more stressed not to have email, to feel like they were missing out on something, so we didn’t expect that people would become significantly less stressed.”
And according to Larry Rosen, Ph.D., author of the recently published iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold On Us, the time we spend obsessively checking e-mail and text messages may be making some of us mentally ill. Those most at risk? People prone to narcissism, or to depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Rosen’s book, which was reviewed in the New York Times on May 13, 2012, includes chapters on mental health issues connected with heavy use of technology - how social media sites spawn narcissism, constant checking of mobile devices lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and how the overabundance of on-line medical information (or misinformation) has created “cyberchondriacs.”
Rosen suggests that there are a few simple strategies to prevent us from ending up in a mental institution or a rehab center, including taking “tech breaks.” For example, step away from your computer for a few minutes and connect with nature instead or maybe just take an e-mail vacation.
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