"Smartphones can be as addictive as heroin," said Terri Kurtzberg in the Asbury Park Press

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Thursday, June 15, 2017
Asbury Park, NJ

Asbury Park Press

Distracted: Staying Connected without Losing Focus Terri Kurtzberg associate professor in the Management & Global Business department at Rutgers Business School got her daughter, Jillian, a smart phone for her 12th birthday, and asked her what she would do with it when she becomes old enough to drive.

Jillian said she knew; no texting and driving.

"I said, 'No. The rule is, the phone is going to have to be in the trunk,'" Kurtzberg said. "Because it's bigger than us, and we have to realize it's not something we can say, 'Oh, I understand. It's safer not to look.' It is that strong a pull if the thing is next to you and it goes off."

Kurtzberg is co-author of a new book called Distracted: Staying Connected without Losing Focus, arguing that workers have become addicted to the nonstop Twitter feeds, news alerts, texts and emails on their mobile phones. And their brains aren't equipped to handle it.

The result is that a device designed to make them more productive has, in fact, made them less. Their minds begin to wander, wondering what they missed. They can't engage in the task at hand. They get burned out.

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TAGS: Management and Global Business Research Terri Kurtzberg