After four days of Infomagical tasks and challenges, I’ve finally made it to the final day number five! The last four days have made a huge impact on my approach to my technology and the information I choose to consume on a daily basis. The whole experience caused me to reflect on my media use habits in a way that I had not done before. It made me realize that information overload affects me to a much greater extent than I had ever allowed myself to believe. I never thought there was such a thing as reading too many articles (the more the better, right?), but this week taught that reading too much, even if it’s stuff you find interesting and informative, can cause just as much information overload on our brains as scrolling mindlessly through Facebook. Because no matter how useful or meaningful the information is, if it’s distracting you from other tasks it’s multi-tasking! It is no more justifiable or productive than scrolling through infinite pages of memes when you’ve got a deadline coming up.
I am never going to be able to read every single article I bookmark, or keep up with all the articles my friends are constantly sharing (either publicly or directly with me). I so desperately wish I could, because there is just SO MUCH interesting information out there! And all it takes to access is the click of a button! But one click leads to another that leads to another, and before I know it two hours have gone by and I don’t even remember when or where it began. There came a point where started feeling like this, and knew that something had to change. I forced myself to take a step back from the barrage of stuff I consume every day and ask myself, have I become a prisoner of all this information? How much of it am I really going to remember, and how much of it is just another distraction from other, more meaningful tasks that I could be focusing on?
Of course even the most productive people I know are prone to multi-tasking and getting distracted. We all do it, and it’s ok! It’s ok to indulge in distractive activities, scroll through too many cat memes, or get trapped in the sticky web of information on the Internet. I do it too, and I know I’m not going to be able to erase those habits completely. But this week of challenges nonetheless provided me with valuable insight on my behaviour. So where has it left me? I have realized that I want to create more content and consume less. This includes creating off-line; getting away from technology to knit a hat, or get crafty in the kitchen. I no longer want a brightly lit screen to be the last thing I see in the evening and the first thing I look at in the morning. In essence, I want to transform my technology into tools that are useful instead of binding. And I plan on succeeding, so expect to hear more from me!
[Thank you for following along with me this week! The challenge may be over for me, but now it’s your turn to have a go! Take the challenge, reevaluate the roles that technology and information play in your life, and see where it takes you!]