Information Overload

By October 19, 2012Construction Marketing

Overwhelmed by PQQsI have felt to break from my subject of ‘marketing’ in this post to speak personally about an issue which really concerns me. It seems to touch everyone’s life in some way or other. I think about this subject often so if you are open minded please proceed…

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” –  Socrates

The Internet Highway

We now have the Internet highway firmly ensconced in our pocket or handbag to download information within seconds at the touch of a few buttons. PCs, Macs, Laptops, Kindles, Smart Phones and IPads. Tons and tons and tons of data are part and parcel of daily life, in fact we have so much technology at our disposal and most of the functionality we do not use, let alone remember the output.

Bombarded By Information

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I would write about the power of words and the weight they carry. How consumers have become weary of being bombarded by a constant flow of information from dawn to dusk. You might say we are living in an intensive information invasion. Have a quick look at your Twitter stream.

Some insight

Let me give you some idea of how much we have sky-rocketed in our assimilation of information in this new age of words strung together. Firstly, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and an army of on line platforms have emerged and each one calls us to give our undivided attention. Meanwhile minutes and even hours of time are eaten up by our compulsion to ‘give it all it’s got’ in order to push out the message that our business is alive and well.

Put another way a Dr Martin Hilbert has been conducting research to show us how much information we are dealing with every day of our lives on average. With the growth in the Internet, 24 hour TV and Smartphones we now receive 5 times as much information as we did in 1986.

That figure is small compared to the amount of data that the average person now produces each day. With email, text messages and the growing number of  social media platforms impacting our lives the average person now produces 6 newspapers of information compared with 2 and a half pages back  in 1986. Wow! That is a huge increase.  Let me extend to you a very warm welcome to the Information Age.

To quote someone,”… the Net is fast becoming the universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and in to my brain.”

Is this relevant in the construction industry?

Do we want to have to read through more and  more information or are we more interested in bringing  enquiries through the front door?  Of course we all want to see more enquiries come through the door. Do we want to be left behind in the information revolution? Of course we don’t because who wants to be branded ‘old’ or out of touch with new developments.

Yet, most of us are deeply dependent upon Google, either through need or habit. We speed read or skim through reams and reams of information and twenty years ago people were less concerned about virtual relationships than we are today. Is it now the norm to open your eyes from sleep and reach for the smartphone or pad? Are we free or addicted to information?

Information overload is a very real threat to our lifestyle! Yes, I agree, it is convenient and educational and viewed as progress but have we given as much time to converse with friends over meaningful issues without the technologies intruding?

Have we stopped listening, I mean really listening to people? Can we actually leave this virtual world for a time to listen to birds singing and the sea roaring and the rain softly falling on the roof of our car? Can we break from the irritability we feel because we haven’t checked our screen?

Do we find our security in always trying to impress others by telling them just how busy we are or dare we break from this rut by going for a day without using any of these technologies.  I know for some that would be too difficult.

Impatience

Have you noticed how impatient you become when your broadband slows? Today transactions happen so very quickly, like loading a webpage, the response from an ATM, receiving an email or text message. In spite of the fact that these technologies have advanced our society they have also had an adverse affect upon our lives and our relationships. They have robbed us of our time – time to think, to contemplate, to plan and to dream! These are just as important aspects of our lives and we need to guard against losing our creativity.

Are we afraid of being alone with our thoughts?

With so much noise from these technologies it seems that most people are talking, some are hearing but even less are really listening. In a conversation, some people pretend to listen while the other person is talking because they cannot wait to start talking themselves.

Can we set a good example?

Well, I guess it is up to someone to set a good example. Parents are given this huge responsibility. Managers are positioned to encourage those under their care to listen carefully for the smooth running of the business. Leaders are those who have learnt the art of careful listening and have disciplined themselves to use technology rather than the other way around.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”       – James A. Baldwin

I guess we can all ask ourselves the question. Where am I in all of this?

Please feel free to add your comments. See you soon…

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