TMI (Too Much Information)
Helping Your Life Work
Volume 8, Issue 3
Our private lives are becoming increasingly more public. Despite efforts to maintain our privacy, our personal information is becoming ever more available to one and all. And much of it is our own doing. Those of us who write newsletters or columns often share personal details of our lives; bloggers and vloggers keep subscribers up to date with their personal observations and philosophies and there are over 300 million of us sharing and reading each other’s daily tweets on the Interwebz.
We ‘friend’ others on Facebook; network on LinkedIn; share photos on Flickr; talents and causes on YouTube; interests on Pinterest; and seek life mates on, well, Lifematesand other dating registries. We are in constant communication with others through our mobile phones, think nothing of having intimate conversations within earshot of strangers and send so many text messages that there is a new form of repetitive strain injury known as “blackberry thumb.”
Our inbox is filled with podcasts, RSS feeds, news and information from global sources. With iPods and iPads, Kindles and Kobos, we carry music and books wherever we go, rarely having a minute to just stare into space with nothing but our imagination to occupy us. Timothy Leary’s message to “Turn on, tune in, drop out” seems prescient.
Our appetite for acquiring and sharing information seems insatiable and I wondered why. Is it about quenching our thirst for knowing and understanding the world around us or is it about using that knowledge and understanding to make the world a better place? Are we feeling disconnected from those immediately around us or are we looking to connect with them on a more regular basis? Are we eager to expand our circle through the amazing links that the Internet provides us or to make our presence known to the world? Or is there some other reason?
When does sharing information become sharing ‘too much information?’ Is it important that we document our every move and thought and feeling? While keeping a detailed personal journal may be helpful in maintaining a diet, for example, is documenting what we ate for breakfast that important to the world at large? Is sharing intimate details about our lives helpful to others, or ourselves or do we do it to justify our behaviours, to seek community or gain acceptance? Or is it something other than that?
I would love to know your thoughts and experience with acquiring and sharing information. Have you reached your saturation point? Is it information overload for you? Or are you hungry for more? Please write and let me know.
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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