My recent blog, How to deal with an information overload, left me thinking on this topic. Our body, mind & soul have their own ways of dealing with the vastness of sensory stimuli (ie, hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch). My diagram below is an illustration how I perceive its modus operandi.
Following a discussion with a friend, I realized that we must have a filter for all the sensory stimuli that we receive.
In my view, that filter is “age-related”. Unlike older people, younger people often do not feel an information overload.
Again, in my view, this relates to an empathy filter. Younger(er) people seem to be more preoccupied with themselves than with others.
Empathy is mostly a burden to us if and when we do not have the capacity to change things.
Hence, the importance of the Serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), an American theologian, ethicist, and professor at Union Theological Seminary: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Empathy can thus easily overwhelm our emotions and result in feeling an information overload. Also see my 2020 and 2021 blogs on the dark side of empathy.
Applying a (detailed) focus is a tool to survive the information overload caused by the (entire) perspective. Hence, the need for (many) job specialists compared to the (sole) general manager. Unfortunately, we tend to lose our perspective (macro) when we apply a focus (micro).
Many stimuli reach us through technology (eg, streaming media, radio, TV). Yet, technology is also (or: will be) the solution. This dilemma may explain our love & hate relationship with technology.
Ayo Technology (2007) by Milow (2008 cover)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song
Ayo, I’m tired of using technology
I need you right in front of me
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.