The NY Times describes how much desk time is actually spent on distractions . Software designers, combatting this trend, are trying to keep people focused. Yeah, right!
This story gets interesting when compared with the fantastic success of children's television shows at attracting and keeping the kids' attention. Psychologists, God bless 'em, have designed these shows to be "sticky, " getting kids to deeply commune with the idiot box. And this means daddy can do his blog in peace. Even the Gray Lady of kidcrap, Sesame Street, has been affected. The key seems to have been event pacing and a melding of fantasy and reality elements.
Of course, their valiant effort has had strange effects for some.
Now, would adult workplace productivity increase if Big Bird started flitting around every fifth minute? Maybe not. Our lab resembles the Teletubbies set in any case.