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Do You Suffer from ‘Information Bloat’ ???

information bloatI was reading today how the net has made us more informed, but it is also bombarding us with more information than we can synthesize and turning us into mere skimmers of information — i.e. sufferers of information bloat for lack of a better word.

According to E&P’s David Hirschman: The news is all a click away, and it’s possible to sift among thousands of newspapers and magazines from all around the world online (not to mention emags and blogs), parsing and digesting snippets of information. As a result I feel a kind of obligation to be more or less up to date on a wide variety of subjects, simply to keep up.

But I realize more and more that my up-to-date knowledge of events has actually become shallower, and that the information doesn’t affect me all that much. Twenty-two dead in Iraq bombing. Married magazine editor caught with call-girl in airplane bathroom. An event pops up, gets knocked around the blogosphere for a while, enters my consciousness, and then fades out just as quickly. There’s always a new journalism scandal or a bit of unexpected intrigue, booting the last one into obsolescence.

These days, I usually don’t make it all the way through an article. I’ll read the lede and the nut graf, and maybe I’ll scroll down to hunt around for hidden relevant bits, but if I take the time to finish every article I won’t be able to get through (or, at least, to) all the other stuff that is part of my daily news diet, which I consume, for the most part, online.

Is blogging making us less a participant in life and more of an observer?

Are we suffering from information bloat only to be seduced by the next headline? I think so.

That goes for our personal life too. Sometimes it seems that blogging has taken over my life. I know that my wife and children will agree with that assessment.

If I’m not posting I’m either reading (skimming) or coding my templates. Finding a balance with my (real) life is the hardest part and I imagine that I’m not alone in this regard either.

How about you? Do you find it hard balancing information bloat, and has blogging affected your life for the better or the worse?

Related links: instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, writing, write, computers and internet, technology, media, opinion, information bloat

Written May 19th, 2006 by | 5 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips

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There are 5 Comments so far to “Do You Suffer from ‘Information Bloat’ ???”

  1. Hard to say. In some ways we have benefited because of all the information this now available. But on the other hand maybe I do spend too much time at the computer. Wait a sec… let me go ask the wife… later dude :)

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  2. Not sure about information bloat but you definitely suffer from Feedburner Flare bloat!!
    Wow! I’ve never seen so many flares in all my life!
    (Just a humorous comment, don’t sweat it. :) )
    Great blog!

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  3. Judging from the pic it looks like that guy (at least I think it’s a guy) is having more difficulty balancing the “bloat” than most :).

    Ditto on the great blog!

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  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. Especially “anonymous” for the heads up. If you check again you will see that the flare-up has died down somewhat.


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  5. You are 100% right about information bloat. I really know this problem is for real.

    Nice blog dude ;)

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