Overhyping Internet Addiction For Profit

from the more-than-one-interpretation dept

Two issues that annoy me are people who describe “internet addiction” as if it’s the equivalent of a drinking or drug addiction and people who think that surfing non-work related sites at work must be bad for productivity. Now, combine these two into one big study saying that internet addicts are killing company productivity by surfing non-work related sites at work, and it sets off lots of alarms. The study, of course, was done by a company that is trying to sell products to block employees from surfing the internet, so the bias is clear. However, nowhere do they suggest (as other studies have) that having employees occasionally doing non-work related things to clear their mind, actually helps them be more productive (and happy) when they are doing work related activities. Certainly, there are some people who abuse internet access at work (and who may have trouble letting go), but some of the suggestions from this study are clearly self-serving to the company that put out the study.

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