The Digital Information Buffet
The concept of too much information still seems odd to our ears. Communication technologies (from smoke signals, to post, then telegraph and telephone) have evolved slowly over time and enabled humans to develop and sustain culture, create social ties, and distribute knowledge.
However before the digital age, people were able to examine and consider information more quickly that they were able to create and circulate it. The digital age has dramatically altered this production/consumption ratio and has done it in a radically fast way.
The new technologies allow not only fast production but especially instant distribution of information: this leave us with permanent processing deficit although most of us, in the digital age, handle nothing else but information for a living. We create it, process it and consume it, and feel overwhelmed most of the time.
You can view information as being similar to food. You need information for your mental development, just as you need food for your body. A good diet however includes digestible portions from several food groups. Likewise with information, you need useful, good quality portions. Especially, you need to know how to exercise discretion in deciding which information you ingest.
The incessant flow of data stimuli we live in at the moment however is like a constantly replenishing, colorful food buffet where junk food is mixed with good home-made food and haute cuisine.
It is difficult to make choices when faced with this abundance, our senses are captivated every moment. Most of us have learned to make tough choices in front of a food buffet, but have not yet taken the power to do the same in front of the information buffet.
We often do the opposite, ingesting information constantly to the point of choking on it. We all do it - corporate executives and professionals, social web networkers, and lazy couch tubers.Continued on the next page