Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coping with information overload ~ By Phil Elmore

The younger generations of America are known to use the term, "TMI," meaning "Too much information." In other words, they are saying, when using the term, that a conversation is providing more personal information than they really want to know, and they want to turn off the flow of that information. This is basically what Phil will suggest to you, when he writes, "You can, however, take a break from information overload. You can take a holiday. You can catch your breath. I urge you to do just that." Merry Christmas!

Coping with information overload
By Phil Elmore

December 23, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

The technology that saturates contemporary society, the technology that pervades modern existence, is overwhelmingly information technology. It reflects how easily we share data and communicate opinion to one another. It facilitates the transfer of words, video and sound to every corner of the globe and in every room of our homes. It is in our televisions. It is on our computers. It is in our pockets, on our belts, and in our purses on our phones. News, entertainment, information, infotainment and fully interactive real-time communication: This is the information technology that now shares both waking and sleeping minutes with us.

There is no way to cut yourself off from modern technology. You can try to avoid it, yes. You can refuse to be informed. You may even be successful in your willful ignorance. I spoke, not long ago, with a man who did not know the name of our state's current governor, nor was he aware of the prostitution scandal that forced the previous governor of New York to resign. Yet ignorance of current events and politics is not safe harbor from modern technology; the same man was interrupted twice during our conversation by his wireless phone.

There are religious communities in the United States who refuse to use modern technology – but in many cases, those same communities actively trade both goods and services with people who do. A local group who shuns technology, for example, trades their hand-crafted sheds and other outbuilding structures for the use of their neighbors' machine tools – tools they themselves refuse to own, the services of which they nonetheless avail themselves. In an interwoven, increasingly interconnected society whose members are a text message, an e-mail, or a Voice over IP (VoIP) call away, even self-described Luddites are kidding themselves when they try to disconnect from the socio-technological network of networked networks that holds us all in its thrall.

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