Thursday, December 8, 2011

Information rich, thoughts poor

Nowadays information is so readily available that we often lose the inclination to give deeper thoughts to what we are looking up for.

As I picked up my smartphone to look at the temperature, I realized I have been routinely checking the temperature and weather forecast every day. What does it matter if the temperature is 15C or 18C? What does it matter if there is going to be a slight drizzle or none at all? Why do I even waste a few seconds in a day checking the weather? After knowing exactly what the weather is going to be like for the day, I stopped appreciating a beautiful weather because it has become an expectation.

When I first got my Kindle, I was spending more than an hour each day reading the news. Using the Kindle was really fun. After several months, I realized I was simply wasting away a lot of time. At the end of the day, catching up with the news did nothing for me. It did not make me happier, smarter, richer, or wiser. It was just news to be consumed, and then to be expunged later.

How about email or Facebook? Some people spend lots of time reading and responding to email, or they get on the social website like Facebook. We all know that people prefer not to talk about themselves or reveal too much of their personal life on the internet for fear of misuse. This is another example of too much information, and too little useful interaction.

We really ought to think more about how we spend our time on the consumption of information. I think we are overconsuming information and starving our natural thought process at the same time.

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