The Sunday Styles section of the New York Times has an interesting article by Alex Williams called "Too Much Information? Ignore it". The article gives examples of people making changes in relation to Timothy Ferriss’s productivity philsophy. Mr. Ferriss has a book called "The Four Hour Workweek" and a blog called "fourhourworkweek". He believes that we should not be multi-tasking so much, and restrict emails and instant messages to cut out "useless" information.
I believe that modern technology like email, instant messaging and online social networking are important part of modern culture, but should be used in moderation. Or as my husband says " we could do without the emails that are more like modern water cooler conversation then serious business". And a good old fashioned phone call or live meeting is probably still the most effective way to communicate.