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Denny's Daily Zinger: No Email, Merci. We're French!

April 16, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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A great idea has come out of France:

It seemed too good not to be true: Reports that French labor unions had struck a pact with employers making it illegal to send work-related emails after 6 p.m. spread like wildfire across English-speaking media on Thursday. Adam Auriemma and David Gauthier-Villers, The Wall Street Journal

With the First Amendment here in the U.S., such a protocol could not become law. But what a great idea!

I never look at email after 6:00 p.m. My wife Peggy, who runs a publishing division and has colleagues all over the country, does not have this luxury.

Email Obsession Can Be Dangerous
Scientists say juggling email, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information. These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement—a dopamine squirtthat researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored. The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cell phone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks.
-Matt Richtel, The New York Times

Takeaways to Consider

  • "On the Internet, the average attention span is three to five minutes. We have to cater to that." -Steven Hirsch, Co-chairman, Vivid Entertainment
  • "The addictive nature of Web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds-the same as a goldfish." -Dr. Ted Selker, MIT Media Lab

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