Dealing with Information Overload -Part1
Recently I have been been working on a couple of pet projects of mine. My interests, skills, and experience all are into areas where I have to deal with information of all kinds. I can’t be complaining as I am the product of information age. I have taken advantage of it and have been making a living out of it. However, these days I find myself collapsing under the piles of information that I have collected from different sources.I am in a catch-22 situation. You may think why am I holding on to the all these dumps. I only have to erase them from my hard disk.Right? Only difficulty in this is that taking such a decision is not that easy. We all know the value of information. Every word can be monetized only if we know how to leverage.This could be the story of many of you information worker as well. I tried
a few of the readily available life hacks on the net to deal with information overload. They did work to an extent. Not satisfied, I took again to, where else but,internet to look for the solution, only to find myself diving deeper on the subject. Bounties are buried deep down as a rule, aren’t they?
Let’s go back to a world before the advent of internet as mass medium. I am referring to the fag end of the last century, when the net in the internet actually began to cast its web.The internet was invented in early seventies but it mostly remained in the hands of lucky few. There was a huge technology barrier that prevented the democratization of internet as we know it today. Back to world pre-internet era, if we may call so, the sources of information of were few and even fewer were the carrier of information. We mostly depended on the newspapers, radios and televisions for information. There was considerable time lag as the packets of information traveled and reached the end consumers. And there were inevitable modifications and alterations in the track.
The mass proliferation of internet changed the whole game. It had a profound impact on our culture, commerce, the way we connect, and the way we communicate.In fact, the sources of information and the speed at which it can be shared have rocketed. Some researchers claim that we create more information every two days than we did from ancient times up to the year 2003. The contribution of the communication revolution, particularly the smartphones and other such devices has also had a major role to play. The ever increasing number of social media platforms has made information sharing available at everyone’s fingertip and just a click away. What has remained unchanged or increased only a tad bit is our ability to consume, use or derive any sense from the sea of information. To me it appears this has gone down though our desires to be part of all the exciting things happening out there have grown manifold over the same period.The mixture of ever increasing desire and information causes a mild epidemic that can be termed as “infobesity.”
The urge to know all and benefit from the piles of information creates a mindset that controls us rather than we being in control of the information. Good thing about any mindset is that it can be changed. We will have to understand the push and pull factor of information. Technologies allow information to be pushed. We are part of the fraternity which needs to depend on the very same technology as tools of convenience. There is no way to dig our heads in sand. We have to find ways to deal with the current situation.We have to deal with the dark side of information. Good news here again is that there are ways to deal with it but that will require a separate post.