Rick Schwier just referred to an interesting article which appeared in the Seattle Times titled “Life Interrupted“. It brings up an interesting concern about how people today are being bombarded by digital interruptions (e.g., email, blogs, Blackberries, IM, etc.), and these interruptions are keeping us from doing our work, from fully participating in our lives and are causing cognitive overload (amongst other things). I think it’s a real concern. I’m a known sufferer from this condition, but have made attempts to cut out as many of these digital intrusions as possible (e.g., no cellphone, limited IM, email at scheduled times a day). In fact, I feel guilty blogging this … although I justify it as part of my self-therapy.
I am also seeing this trend in a lot of my students. I teach in a computer lab, and find the use of MSN (IM), the checking of email and online games to be appalling (hey … check me out, I’m teaching up here). It’s something I try to discourage, but also something I have been planning to bring in as a larger ethical, professional and social issue next semester.
Another article worth reading which peripherally addresses this issue is titled “Her So-Called Digital Life“, recently from Wired Magazine.
Update: Stephen Downes just posted an article titled “Generation Raised With Internet Grows Up“. I think this follows a similar meme stream.