The father of the internet, Time Berners-Lee, weighed-in on his frustration at what the World Wide Web has become, especially when taking into account the intended purposes surrounding its development, in its earliest stages. Who can blame him? There are any number of perils of the information superhighway one can pick from to go into great detail about, such as its ability to cloak nefarious and outright criminal activities associated with famous sites such as Silk Road.
We won’t get into that now though. Instead, we’ll discuss a peril which is a lot more destructive than it may appear to be, which is that of information overload. It’s rather ironic how, in a world that is defined as the Information Era, there is definitely such a thing as too much information! It becomes TMI (too much info) when most of it is utterly useless and only exists to effectively waste your time.
How do you deal with this silent thief of your time though?
Social media has destructive characteristics that go beyond just stealing away hours upon hours of your time. It can be a triggering source of depression, because it has become this world where everybody can simply filter, Photoshop and doctor their lives, shaping them to appear to be perfect. To someone who takes all of that onboard at face-value, they may not know that they’re actually faring much better than what their peers are, who are pretending to lead such perfect lives.
Sure, it can make for some great fun checking out funny memes to help get you through the day, but at some point you need to decide whether it’s worth spending so much of your time effectively consuming utterly pointless media that adds absolutely no value to your life. Limit your social media use to set times, such as maybe twice a day and that’s it!
For those who don’t know, search engines are in the business of organising the world’s information to make money. It is after all a business, so you need to beef up on your research skills if you’re to avoid potential information overload from search engines. It’s not necessarily the best information which is indexed near the top of the search results, but rather that information which has either been optimised to rank highly or information for which its high ranking has been paid.
Direct communication channels
Unless you’re waiting for a life-changing email to hit your inbox, check emails in the same manner you would approach social media, having been made wise to the need to focus on what’s important. Twice a day should do it.
Implementing the RSS model
In order to avoid information overload, basically your use of the World Wide Web should come down to the implementation of the RSS model. Remember the RSS feeds, which were basically just comprised out of a selection of that media which you want to interact with and nothing more beyond that?
You should have a selection of online information sources you frequent for your information fix and to avoid having to interact with useless information.