Information overload: you're at fault, not technology

Tired, stressed and incapable of paying attention? You're suffering from information overconsumption, not overload. And it's your fault, Clay Johnson argues.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

If you feel overloaded by the wealth of information in the digital age, tough: it's your own fault.

That's according to The Information Diet author Clay Johnson, who says in an interview with O'Reilly's Mac Slocum that "information overload" ought to be renamed, and reframed, as "information overconsumption."

Johnson says:

We never say someone suffering from obesity is suffering from food overload. Bad food is manufactured by companies that are being run by people, being distributed by companies that are run by people, and being purchased with money from people. Spend a night in a room with a bucket of fried chicken, and provided you don't eat it, your cholesterol is unlikely to change.

In the interview, he offers five steps to sanity. Among them: figure out what and how much you're actually consuming, cut down on the number of things vying for your attention and cut out anything that requires management over time. Fight overload -- er, overconsumption -- by removing your susceptibility to it.

Otherwise, you're at risk of a poor sense of time, shortened attention spans, shallower relationships, stress and hypertension. (In other words, all the traits of a highly successful SmartPlanet editor.) Your brain is on overdrive for too long during the day -- instead of working to manage it, work to mitigate it.

Don't blame the information for your bad habits [O'Reilly Radar]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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