The weight of information is crushing. Who knew digital could be so heavy?
The more I work, the more I realise that there’s a lot of information out there. I don’t just mean a lot. I mean a lifetime’s worth of reading being posted up everyday on the ‘net.
There are RSS feeds to follow. LinkedIn groups to join and then monitor. Twitter followers and followeds to keep up with. Facebook friends. Trade websites, blogs and forums. Email subscriptions. Seth Godin. Ed Lee. IttyBiz.
In fact, there’s so much that it is remarkably easy to drown; to get sucked into an information whirlpool so deep that it’s hard to escape or remember why you jumped into the drink in the first place. And that’s scary. You could spend all day keeping up and not actually working. Which is scarier.
Part of the problem, for me at least, is the fear of missing something. I read Seth Godin’s daily postings not because I think he walks on water, but because I’m worried that I’ll miss something juicy if I don’t. Ed Lee thankfully doesn’t blog as much, but it’s always worth a read. And IttyBiz makes me laugh, and think.
But I get concerned when my inbox hits 50 unread in less than a day. A full clear out, a full digest, takes about two hours but I don’t generally have two hours a day. However, if I take a gamble and delete everything to start afresh, exactly what will I be missing?
And how exactly do you ascribe ‘value’ to a particular blog or RSS feed? Sure, they might have started off awesome (which is why you subscribed in the first place) but if they hit a dry spell, how long do you give them before booting them off the ‘to read’ list? What’s their grace period?
In the struggle to learn, to be better, to avoid being left behind, it’s easy to join too many groups, to follow too many on Twitter etc. Perhaps it’s better to pick a few selected outlets at a time and limit the information flow so that you can actually process what’s coming in. For as long as they’re good, keep them. As soon as they hit a dry spell, bin them. Or maybe just lock the door for one day a week, stock up on the caffeine and hit it hard.
I don’t know the answer to any of the above. If you do – share, please!