Future Human: Dealing with the Information DelugeJanuary 31st, 2011
Everyday we are bombarded by imagery and information. These come in the form of status updates, RSS feeds, videos, advertisements, news blurbs, and inboxes. Many devices can communicate with each other or have some sort of internet access. That means that every information stream we can access on our computer, we can also access on our phones, iPods, TVs, and game consoles. We are the “society of the spectacle”, and our fractured, frazzled attention spans reflect this. Technology is evolving so rapidly that we don’t have time to learn how to properly assimilate all the new stimuli. The internet brings with it the simplification of information; quick-hit videos, bullet point lists, and 140-character messages. The more rich long-form style of reading and concentration is becoming rare.
The human being of the future (read: now) needs to learn how to adapt to both long and short form narrative and communication, and to know when to take advantages of different systems. They will understand how to filter information and how to activate each form when appropriate. The connections in your brain need to be made to allow quick switching between information streams. I believe that process is already underway. Start actively pursuing this now. Start building practical filters and ways to deal with deluge of daily images and information.
Perhaps the constant stream of always-on information and imagery helped to spawn the current resurgence of simplicity/minimalism, (that could be another article entirely). Sometimes though, you just need a break. That’s where the always popular digital sabbatical comes in. It’s totally cool if you just need to unplug for a bit and go for a run, read a book, or just sit in silence or something. We understand, and don’t worry, we’ll be here when you decide to come back.
“…unhaltable trend to constantly accelerating change.”
-Buckminster Fuller on technology.