The Digital Information Buffet - Page 2
An epic buffet orgy may be fun, occasionally, but it poses a serious threat to our health when it is continuous and uncontrollable. The constant flow of data to which we are constantly exposed carries a cost, both physically and mentally. Personally, when I do not put a limit to data flow, my memory and short attention spans shrink. I feel scattered and tired, despite regular exercise, and keep processing the day's information load throughout the night.
Also, memory is stored according to specific cues, contexts within which the information is experienced. When the context begins to vanish in a sea of data, it becomes more difficult to remember any single piece of it. At this point, the information you process no longer makes any sense and does not add anything to your life.
Information overload is just as likely to create mental confusion as it is to create impaired judgments based on an attempt to shut down data gathering, and an unkindness to others, a brusque way of relating to each other due to being distracted or in an attempt to limit interaction.
So what is the solution to information overload?
It is very simple, although not always easy to do as it requires a serious degree of discipline.
You need to become aware of your information processing patterns and make a conscious choice to take control of the information you process and respond to, just like you do with our diet, just like you do when we select a movie to see at the cinema.