(Way) too much information (Part 2)

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not an ‘early adopter’. I read about new technologies and see people freely using them, but I am not the slightest bit interested in learning of their potential application in my life. If it weren’t for the kids, I would probably only now be considering digital TV (heck, Melbourne has until 2013 to switch over!)

Sure, I’m the one in the house that will hook up the TV to the DVD or VCR (which it still is, even though VCRs went out with the dinosaurs.) But I haven’t yet bothered to hook up the Playstation 3 to the internet. I forwent the option of a T-Box when I took out the Telstra bundle, because I knew that meant more fiddling around the back where the dust lives.

I struggle with the massive amount of ways to gain, sort and keep new information. In the old days we had librarians. Of necessity, now they are called ‘information management specialists’.

The amount of information available also increases with each generation. Is it a good thing? My mother was very sympathetic to my fears when I was pregnant about all the things that could go wrong with the pregnancy and birth. She said that we had too much information and this information wasn’t making it easier for us. In her day, she said, EVERYONE smoked and drank when they were pregnant or breastfeeding. And besides, all her kids turned out alright!

We not only need  to know more stuff, but we feel we have a right to know this stuff. As we collect more stuff, we need new ways to store and retrieve it. It’s all supposed to make our lives easier and give us more time; time for the things that we don’t have time for any more because we have too much information.

When did this information overload begin? Did it begin when we stepped out of the Dark Ages? Is the industrial revolution and the beginnings of knowledge transfer to blame? As successive generations have experienced the incremental increases in information available, so have we had to find new ways to store and retrieve it.

And that is my downfall.

Look at my desktop at work – icons everywhere and I can’t find anything! Why haven’t I made folders to sort them in to?

Look at my bookmarks! That’s just one page of many. Why haven’t I sorted them into folders yet?

Look at the photographs sitting in folders sitting on my desktop at home. Why haven’t I printed them out? What use are they to me sitting in folders on my desktop at home?

Does anyone else have the same information (mis)management issues?

Also see: (Way) too much information (Part 1)

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4 thoughts on “(Way) too much information (Part 2)”

  1. haha don’t worry, my desktop/ bookmarks/ folders look exactly the same. It doesn’t help that I give all my files names like ‘notes’ and ‘assignment’ and ‘notes for assignment’. I have so many articles and links saved just in case one day I have time to read them… but if that day ever came, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to find what I was looking for!

  2. I am totally with you. My home computer desktop looks exactly the same as yours, as do my bookmarks. Like you, I am not an early adopter. After our son was born, I bought my husband a digital video camera so he could make movies of the kids and send them back to his family in England. Our son is now two and I still don’t know how to use the camera, I was too busy at the time to learn. I hasn’t made my life any less pleasing. There will always be someone around who knows ‘how to’, and if not, then needs must, I guess. But I make a conscious choice not to take it all on. Information overload, that feeling of being overwhelmed by information is not a positive feeling, so I try to avoid it.

    If you are anything like me (and I your desktop suggests you are), you could probably locate what you need eventually, because you never actually delete anything!

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