Information Addiction

October 11, 2004 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

   Is a constant flow of information addicting? Are you addicted?

   There are so many sources of information on the internet nowadays. Blogs are becoming more and more popular and feed readers are becoming more common as well, allowing you to subscribe to more and more feeds. The very nature of a blog, that which significantly sets it apart from a magazine, is the fact that it is practically a constant flow of information released at irregular intervals. Then when you add to that the fact that feed readers allow you to read more blogs more often (Scoble, I know you’re blushing, Mr. Too-Many-Feeds-To-Count ;-) ), you get something that seems great at first, but then presents a possible problem. When I first started using a feed reader, boredom wasn’t a problem I had to deal with. Got 30 seconds? Let me peek at BoingBoing. Done with homework? Why don’t I sift through Scoble’s link blog or check out Engadget and Gizmodo. I started reading more and more often. Now, i’ve noticed that I’m approaching the point where, if I have a minute and there’s nothing new posted, I update my feeds again and again and become desperately bored. Thinking about things to entertain myself has become harder. Have I become addicted?
   I’m not entirely sure, but I’m definitely going to be careful with how I spend my time. After all. that big yellow thing they call the sun sure is shiny! I don’t want to stop, no. but I don’t want this to become a problem. Geeks have lives too, you know, they’re just buried under nondescript CD-R’s, papers, wires, circuit boards, etc. :-)
   This whole thing was once a fear many people had of television, and while you definitely can’t think of blogs and TV as similar in too many ways (after all, blogs do require more thought), the results seem strikingly similar. And I don’t even watch TV! Could this be a problem we’ll encounter more and more in this time of broadband internet, WiFi, and SPOT watches? Are we all susceptible? Is there a compromise, a way to enjoy our blogs without becoming zombies? Can we have our cake and eat it too?

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