Today, a vast amount of information is effortlessly coming our way – be it solicited or unsolicited – from all possible directions.
A range of opinions from all colours of the political, social and cultural spectrum is being constantly thrown upon us. We even have readily access to such (fascinating!) details as, for instance, our neighbours’ or colleagues’ precise lunch menu of the day – or what time they woke up.
Only a very small percentage of this information is useful to us. This tiny percentage may help us learn and progress towards the goals we are striving for. It may help us be updated about what is happening in the world in order, perhaps, to grasp market tendencies, global policy trends or new cultural programmes. Some of it may be pure entertainment to satisfy our healthy and balanced human curiosity.
The rest is most likely noise, pollution, distraction and pure harassment. The remaining huge percentage of the information that is accessible to us could be compared to an unwelcome visitor trying to force his or her way disrespectfully, arrogantly and undiplomatically into our carefully shielded privacy. It could also be likened to a thief greedily robbing us of our precious time… That is, if we were not in control of what we let into our lives. We can of course take a deliberate stance to instill and maintain that control.
With some concentration and a fair amount of discipline, we may remain on our paths without useless, counterproductive distraction. We need not lose sight of our objectives and we need not ‘neglect’ those who are dear to us. By putting in place clear filters and carefully protecting our time and energy, we may dedicate it to what matters the most to us.
Such conscious filtering applies not only to information, but also to people, institutionalised behaviour, so called social traditions or obligations and anything else that makes us lose our time, concentration and energy without any benefit to us or to others.
We may be grateful today that we don’t have to venture to the local library during opening hours if we need to research or look something up. We are lucky to have the convenience of access to information like never before.
By having the reflex and personal discipline to appropriately filter all that noise, we are able to make the most of that gift.
“We’re not in a world of information overload, we’re in a world of filter failure.”
― Michael Lazerow
The serial entrepreneur and investor, Michael Lazerow, who successfully founded several media companies, so relevantly said, “We’re not in a world of information overload, we’re in a world of filter failure.”
That filter is up to each one of us.