Unloading Information Overload - or Not

Information Age - WSJ.com

the attached link will lead you to an article with a position what at the moment is fashionable: new information technologies distract us more than in the past from concentrated working and production of ideas and content. The main argument is that we are constantly looking to emails, messaging systems and similar. I would like to challenge this position with two arguments.
Argument 1 is practical and based on experience: e-mai, instant messaging and co. mainly have substituted the telephone. I can still remember the 70s and 80s, when I was not able to read an article or to write something, because the phone was ringing every 5 minutes. My phone now is ringing 5 times a day - and during meetings I cut off the line for not being disturbed. E-mail is much less invasive; I can decide If I want to read it and to give attention. Messagging services are somewhat more invasive, but still no one forces me to revert to the blinking tab on my PC
Argument 2 is looking to the results. So then, intellectual production and output of mankind should have gone down. No articles any more, now valuable books. That is obviously wron and ironically also annotated in the linked article.

We are not worsening our way of intellectual work we are changing it and as always, there are the Cassandra's around who only see the worsening.
I do not want to deny problems. Especially the Internet connectivity that becomes ubiquitous, can be annoying. I do not have a Blackberry, because I do not want to receive emails when I am riding my bycicle - and I also do answer to my cellphone then.
I find it scandalous that in many meetings people are sitting answering their emails instead of participating in the meeting. But most probably the biggest scandal is the meeting itself: if you decide that using your time for answering emails is more efficient thant following the meeting, why are your there?

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