Friday, March 15, 2013

Too Much Information. Really!

Information Overload.

 The new reality. One hundred years ago, humans knew very little beyond their own geographic area. Now we can virtually visit the world from wherever we are. Now information from literally every area of the world is available to us either electronically, or in some form of paper. A few days after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, I was on Twitter when an acquaintance Twitted there was another earthquake. Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first one. What amazes me is that I knew, in real time, what was happening on the other side of the world.

Today we get information in real time. We get information from all over the world. We get information that we agree with—and information that makes us frustrated or angry. And it comes at us constantly. Computers, cell phones, television (which are everywhere), billboards, and on and on.

This much information coming at us so fast and hard from so many sources is wearing on a person. We can feel the fatigue at the end of the day from trying to assimilate too much in too short a time. It’s impossible, really. But what can we do?

I’m certainly not an expert, just somebody as overwhelmed as you are. How about I tell you some things that have worked for me, and you tell me what’s worked for you? That way, information is being used for good  :)

1. Taking a day away from technology. There was recently a National Day of Unplugging  I signed up, and it was a great experience—and an eye opening one. To be honest, I try to take one day away from the rush every week. It wasn’t until I’d promised publically to stay away from technology that I realized how much I’ve been missing the mark.

2. Take frequent breaks. Look at the window. Close your eyes, look at a picture, listen to your favorite music while not doing anything else. Even five minutes makes a difference. I know I was surprised at how good it felt.

3. Get away from the information sources prior to bedtime. Don’t take your cell or laptop to bed. Let it go. Relax. Again, even a few minutes seems to make a difference.

4. Keep firmly in your mind that you can’t read, respond to, help, or support everybody and everything. It took me a while to get that through my hard head, but it was freeing when I finally did.

Now it’s your turn. What helps you deal with information overload?

Have a great weekend!