A friend of mine sent me an article which was recently published in the Chronicle Of Higher Education (“Knowing when to log off” – April 22nd – requires subscription – but I found other articles on the same subject like this one in the Seattle Times). Yesterday the BBC spoke of similar research done at some English University (update 4/25 – I found a copy of that here).
The bottom line, they claim, is that we are being bombarded with way too much information – most of it being SPAM of some sorts. The result is that we have less time for “thinking” and many of us are developing some kind of attention deficit deficiency. All of that, the researchers say, does not bode well for education/academia/innovation and even people’s health. They all call for “switching off” technology every now and again.
I am not sure what to think about this. After all – the speed at which information will be published will continue to increase exponentially (I think it’s one of those things driven by a power law!). And while technologies to help us sort through all this stuff will improve dramatically over time, I also think that people will have to develop new skills to scan through larger amounts of information.
All of that being said, I find myself reading less books and more online content – some more meaningful than others. Is this a bad thing? Am I less creative because of it? I am really not sure…