Multitasking to Distraction

By Deane Barker on July 7, 2003

The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?: The ironic thing is that this article took me 30 minutes to read because I kept switching back and forth between four things I was doing at the time. Do you see yourself in this article?

“These speed demons say they will fall behind if they disconnect, but they also acknowledge feeling something much more powerful: they are compulsively drawn to the constant stimulation provided by incoming data. Call it O.C.D. — online compulsive disorder. … ‘It’s magnetic,’ said Edward M. Hallowell, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard. ‘It’s like a tar baby: the more you touch it, the more you have to.’”

Took me while to write this because I was reading email and talking to a vendor at the same time.



  1. A sidenote here — I’ve found that some of my most productive times come when I’m disconnected from the Net. When I have my laptop upstairs (no wireless yet) and I’m coding away from the couch, that’s when I get the most stuff done.

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