Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

How to deal with an information overload

Today, every supplier wants our immediate attention for selling their products and/or services. The use of email offerings appears to be outdated (eg, NYT-2021, Validity-2022). Many if not all suppliers offer apps, including (annoying) pop-up messages. It’s easy to lose focus and on what (really) matters in life.

Example: I just received an email (sic!) from SkyShowtime about their Dutch launch, including an “unbelievable offer”. While writing this, I checked my 3rd generation Apple TV for their app. Unfortunately, it (still) only supports the streaming services of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

People have 3 ways of dealing with today’s information overload: ignore, micro-, or macro-manage.

Ignoring the information overload requires either living entirely off the grid, or living without a smartphone (eg, Medium-2022). In general, such people are either reclusive or very, very rich (eg, use of PAs). Interestingly, tech billionaires limit the screen time for their children (eg, BI-2020-#1, BI-2020-#2).

My information overload is a conscious choice given my priorities (ie, writing). It even includes daily updates of websites that I dislike. I want to know which trends are out there. I skim and/or scan the headings of all messages and only read the ones that trigger my curiosity. Let’s call this macro-management.

In my view, micro-management is being overwhelmed by the (very) many messages that we receive from mobile apps, news media, social media, and/or suppliers. The relevant expression is not seeing the forest for the trees. In my experience, it’s best to start with the least time-consuming ones.

I think, feel and believe that the information overload, including the approach of micro-management, may (also) explain the (cyber) aggression in today’s society (eg, Frontiers-2021, Korea Science-2019, NCBI-2022, Psychology Today-2022).

In my view, technology created the problem of an information overload and is also likely to come up with a solution. An early example is spam filtering. However, these techniques only filter false messages. Filtering irrelevant messages takes much more intelligence; probably Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Ironically, this type of (robotic) AI could be viewed as a “poor” man’s personal assistant. Currently available products and/or services like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant will ultimately evolve towards a digital butler (eg, Samsung), and/or a digital PA function.

Run for the Canyon (2022) by Katie Pearlman
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-Gryffin, Wiki-Katie Pearlman

[Verse 2]
Every day’s a steady dose of information overload
The acts are all starting to sound the same
Yeah the pressures high, the standards low
You could die no one would know
They’re all too busy trying to win the game

[Chorus]
I think I’m gonna run run run run for the canyon
I think I’m gonna run run run run for my life
I gotta get away way way my soul can’t stand it
I think I’m gonna run run run for the canyon, for the canyon

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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