The shear amount of information today can be overwhelming. There are all the media outlets vying for our attention. Professionals are shouting out content to build their own brands. And of course, there are personal information being broadcast on social media. Whew, talk about information overload.
It’s all somewhat silly since we should be absorbing information to enhance and help our lives, not living to stay on top of information.
I remember when Ted Koppel first started giving us daily updates on the Iranian embassy hostage crisis on ABC’s Nightline in 1980. We were mesmerized even despite the lack of significant developments each day. We couldn’t seem to turn off the information regardless of its irrelevance. Then, CCN started broadcasting play-by-plays from wars and other major world crisis and we again couldn’t look away. Now, the internet and social media tempts us constantly with the chance to indulge in yet another form of voyeurism
Maybe it’s our natural fear of FOMO (fear of missing out), but we can’t seem to turn off all the information streaming through our lives.
If the amount of information we are absorbing is becoming counter-productive, whether at work or as an individual, it’s time to put some structure into how and what information you take in. Write down a big picture view of what kind of information you want to receive and broadcast and act accordingly.
Information should be viewed like a flowing river. You take in what passes by in front of you and not worry about what you may have missed. If something is really important, it will flow back around.