current affairs lifestyle media technology

Infobesity

That’s a new word for you – it’s the state of having or seeking out too much information. It’s in John Naish’s book Enough, although I doubt he’s the first to use it.

The average American is exposed to 3000 advertising messages every day, say adbusters, between commercials and billboards, posters, magazine ads, etc, and that figure is increasing. As more and more of us regularly watch TV and surf the net at the same time, that’s hardly surprising.

We’re no better in our social lives. Facebook allows us to follow our all the trivial details of our aquaintances lives. In 2006 we sent 1035 million texts per month in the UK, although research by Intel found that because we can always reschedule, mobiles have made us less socially reliable.

Six trillion business emails were sent in 2006, with the average email user maintaining 3 email accounts and receiving 35 personal emails a day, according to the EmailStatCentre. Researchers have discovered that being in a situation where you are able to check your email is so distracting it is equivalent to knocking 10 points off your IQ. If you’ve ever had a meeting in a room where the wireless network is switched on, or have friends with Blackberries, you’ll know all about this.

And did you ever see ‘contains a source of phenylalanine’ on a food product and either buy it or not buy it?

In the last 30 years we’ve created more information that in the previous 5000 years all put together, but The Henley Centre reports that 70% of people agree with the statement ‘I can never have too much information.’

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