Yan's Corner - In Touch

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Of E-mails, SMSs and IQ

On April 21, NST reported that the Road Transport Officers have started looking out for drivers with one hand on the wheel and the other hand sending an SMS. It is an offence to do so.

It is unthinkable that many can do that.

CNN reported yesterday –

Workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana, a British study shows.

The constant interruptions reduce productivity and leave people feeling tired and lethargic, according to a survey carried out by TNS Research and commissioned by Hewlett Packard.


In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.

He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana.

I would not know how IQ can be lowered. But certainly SMS can cause a whole night’s sleep.

Not long ago, I received this SMS from my “superior” –

Write a letter to parents that we shall be closed 4 2 weeks.

I serve in a voluntary organization as Secretary. We meet once a week. Closed for 42 weeks? It was near to midnight when I received this SMS. It took me one night to get it right –

Dear parents,

We shall be closed for two weeks….

I can assure you that there is no decrease of IQ, my EQ elevated, but I am stressed-out.

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