Dr. Media says this article talks about the new social contazt being created by use of new media, and the emerging behavior that this new environement is creating. Pay attention, this type of research will lead to changes in consumer needs and interests.
Meet the Life Hackers – New York Times: “October 16, 2005
Meet the Life Hackers
By CLIVE THOMPSON
In 2000, Gloria Mark was hired as a professor at the University of California at Irvine. Until then, she was working as a researcher, living a life of comparative peace. She would spend her days in her lab, enjoying the sense of serene focus that comes from immersing yourself for hours at a time in a single project. But when her faculty job began, that all ended. Mark would arrive at her desk in the morning, full of energy and ready to tackle her to-do list – only to suffer an endless stream of interruptions. No sooner had she started one task than a colleague would e-mail her with an urgent request; when she went to work on that, the phone would ring. At the end of the day, she had been so constantly distracted that she would have accomplished only a fraction of what she set out to do. ‘Madness,’ she thought. ‘I’m trying to do 30 things at once.’
Lots of people complain that office multitasking drives them nuts. But Mark is a scientist of ‘human-computer interactions’ who studies how high-tech devices affect our behavior, so she was able to do more than complain: she set out to measure precisely how nuts we’ve all become. Beginning in 2004, she persuaded two West Coast high-tech firms to let her study their cubicle dwellers as they surfed the chaos of modern office life. One of her grad students, Victor Gonzalez, sat looking over the shoulder of various employees all day long, for a total of more than 1,000 hours. He noted how many times the employees were interrupted and how long each employee was able to work on any individual task.
When Mark crunched the data, a picture of 21st-century office work emerged that was, she says, ‘far worse than I could ever have imagined.’ Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What’s more, each 11-minute project was itsel”