Monday, July 25, 2005

Driven to distraction

From "Driven to distraction by technology":

For years, technology has worked to get people more connected. In the office there's e-mail, instant messages and the phone. On the road, cell phones and BlackBerrys enable workers to stay in touch with colleagues.

There is a mini rebellion under way, however. Desperate for some quiet time to think, people are coming up with low-tech strategies to get away from all their technology. That has Microsoft and others taking note and looking for ways to create software that can be more adept at preventing interruptions.

"If you don't have that sort of free time to dream and muse and mull, then you are not being creative, by definition," said Dan Russell, a senior manager at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif.

After concluding three years ago that he was becoming a slave to e-mail, Russell decided to put his foot down. These days, he takes his time replying to messages. All his responses say at the bottom: "Join the slow email movement! Read your mail just twice each day. Recapture your life's time and relearn to dream."
As someone making the effort to cut down on checking my e-mail, I like Dan Russell's advice. Microsoft's response--more software!--reminds me of what happens when you call to cancel cable television: the cable company tries to sell you more channels. The real solution of course is to step away from the machine.

You can read Ina Fried's CNET News article by clicking here. (Via 43 Folders.)

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