Join Ann Wylie for her in-person training session, “Writing That Sells — Products, Services and Ideas,” on June 22 at 9 a.m.–4 p.m. EDT in Boston, Mass.
Constant problem solving (to click or not to click?) and divided attention (you’ve got mail) lead to cognitive overload on the Web.
And according to Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain,” cognitive overload can:
- Make distractions more distracting. Some studies link attention deficit disorder to overtaxed brains.
- Cause us to overvalue the new, even when it’s trivial and irrelevant. Checking out the latest YouTube video becomes more important than analyzing the 46-screen study on illiteracy.
- Lead us to lose the ability to think and reason.
In fact, a 2005 study by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London showed that online multitasking temporarily lowers your IQ more than smoking marijuana does.