We must find a system – one that works for us – to manage information flow. Just as we’re drawn to eat to survive, as humans we’re also drawn towards content. There’s a drive to accumulate experience and learn about things because it helps us survive. But we can consume too much. As content strategist Evren Kiefer notes:
What kinds of filters are available to us so we feel safe in ignoring at least some of the information on our buffet? Things we can do are:
Consuming too much information has a cost. Our time and attention is limited (much like the size of our stomach). We must avoid trying to stretch them too far. A new book, The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption, notes that humans today spend 11 hours/day gorging on information from disruptive media — texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets. Tasty tidbits of information tempt us to indulge. But too much junk, like too much junk food, is bad for our health and sense of well-being:
ny one human could absorb. It’s not the total amount of information, but your information habit that is pushing you to whatever extreme you find uncomfortable.
Less is more. We know this as it relates to our food diet. We don’t quite understand this when it comes to our information diet. Somehow we still think more is more, and that we’ll get shiny gold stars on our foreheads if we ‘clean our plates’, consuming everything that current technology makes possible.