Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Do you data snack?

Not too long ago I came across the word "data snacking". What an appropriate term, I told myself. The ubiquity of smartphones has led to the emergence of a new social behavior, which I am sure you can easily identify with by now. Lots of people are always on their smartphone or tablets, fully immersed in their own little world. They may be sitting together at the dinner table or waiting in a queue. They just cannot seem to distance themselves from the little gadget that has mesmerized the entire planet.

The word data snacking doesn't seem to be in great use at the moment, but I think it soon will be. The Netlingo dictionary defines it as "to consume small snippets of information in a hurry when time permits". This seems like a good definition.

A snack means a light meal. I am always reminded that snacking on food is bad. Snacking makes you put on weight. In the same vein, data snacking fills your head with information. But is it good and useful information? Watch out for information addiction! If snacking on food is an unhealthy preoccupation, perhaps we should also be concerned if we are data snacking too frequently. I leave you to ponder.

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