, Newburyport, MA


May 31, 2011

Driven to distraction

"A new Facebook app is coming out that will remind users exactly what they were doing a year ago from that day," comedian Conan O'Brien observed the other night during his monologue. "Nine times out of 10, the answer will be, 'Wasting your time on Facebook.'"

Indeed, a recent survey by market research firm uSamp concluded that "the proliferation of collaboration and social tools designed to increase productivity is actually costing businesses millions of dollars per year in lost productivity."

Between checking for email, text messages, tweets and Facebook updates, the survey found, "45 percent of employees work only 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted and 53 percent waste at least one hour a day due to all types of distractions."

Good thing they didn't have this technology in Ebenezer Scrooge's day.

Yaacov Cohen, CEO of email vendor, told PC World, "This survey paints a picture of a highly distracted workplace with a particular irony: Information technology that was designed at least in part to save time is actually doing precisely the opposite. The very tools we rely on to do our jobs are also interfering with that mission. We're clearly seeing what psychologists call 'online compulsive disorder' spill over from our personal lives to the work environment."

Indeed, the Providence Journal recently observed in an editorial that "as with video slot machines, the ease of online access and lack of direct, messy human interaction are addictive. We have become guinea pigs for determining the long-term effects of electronically encouraged isolation — and the limits of time-wasting."

Not only that, but there are a number of cases pending involving workers who have been disciplined for using their time on Facebook and other social networking sites to criticize their employers.

It's a strange new world in which we live and work. We're waiting for the first person to call in sick with a case of OCD.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans