Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Information Diet

There’s a new book out, “The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption.”  While it focuses on our information overload, I had to think, “WOW,” look at the parallels. The book talks about conscious consumption. Well . . .

If we stop to think about it, it becomes pretty obvious that healthy information consumption habits are about a lot more than just productivity and efficiency. It turns out even information consumption impacts our personal health, as well as the health of society. And, in the same way too much junk food can lead to obesity, junk information can actually lead to new forms of ignorance—call it cluelessness. 

The Information Diet provides a framework for consuming information in a healthy way, by showing you what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. Hmmm . . . this sounds familiar. We can say the exact same thing about making healthy nutritional choices. After all, we know we are, at least in part, products of the food we eat. We are also products of the information we consume. This leads to the question of fault.

Is it the food’s fault that we eat too much? Is it the information’s fault that we have information overload? Maybe what we’re really suffering from is information malnutrition or information overconsumption. And,  it has all kinds of physiological and psychological effects on us. Hmmm . . . just like our nutritional choices. We may be eating too many empty calories, as well as too many empty mental calories. 

Here’s an interesting statistic. The average person spends more than 11 hours out of every 24 hours in a state of constant information consumption.  It seems that while we’ve grown obese on sugar, fat, sodas and junk food—at the same time we’ve become gluttons for tweets, texts, emails, instant messages, RSS feeds, downloads, YouTube videos, and FB status updates.

And it all comes back to the choices we make. It comes back to being mindful of those choices.

Guess what happens if we concentrate on cutting the low-quality information calories, as well as the low-quality nutritional calories?

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