Getting stuffed in an all you can eat buffet?

Lots of people have spoken about how the internet will bring with it Information fatigue and I wonder if we are now at that point.

The internet is essentially  an all you can eat buffet.  You can choose one of two strategies – try everything in small portions or stick to one or two dishes but devour those.

I think most people are probably the former rather than the latter.  The effect of this is that the attention span for most people is much shorter and therefore everything needs to be communicated in a way that is consumed much quicker – often to the detriment of detail.

We’re now more aware of everything happening around us, but less aware of the context surrounding it.

One very visible exponent of this is the arts. I first thought about this when I read this Wired review of Radiohead’s latest album.  But this has also extended to print with the rise  (in the UK) of free sheets and fall of ‘mainstream’ papers, resulting in the launch earlier this year of  the i newspaper – a condensed daily version of the Independent.   It is also happening in film and TV, with more and more TV productions having large movie-like budgets (e.g. Lost, Boardwalk Empire) and greater and greater advertising support.  These industries tend to be driven by consumer behaviour rather than drive it, so it would suggest that this is true.

What strategy do you follow? Are you an experimenter or do you stick to just a select few dishes?

5 thoughts on “Getting stuffed in an all you can eat buffet?

  1. I find when searching an interest I keep coming up with the superficial instead of in-depth versions. I disturbed by the bullets and lists and the missing musings of the subject. “We’re now more aware of everything happening around us, but less aware of the context surrounding it.” I’m bored (eating a little of everything) in search of the real meal. Great topic.

  2. Pingback: Expanding the Metaphor | Aligaeta's Blog

  3. I think that I tend to eat a little of everything, trying to take in as many different things as possible. And I agree with you I think we are at an overload of sorts. It is sad when holding paper in your hand and reading off of it, feels like taking a break.
    Or when we have to go on vacation not so much to get away from work and our busy lives, but more just to get away from our electronics. Or when we see TV shows like Modern Family with a family that is addicted to electronics try to see who can go the longest without it, and barely lasts a whole day.
    While technology has made our lives easier, I think it has also in a way made our lives more chaotic and hectic, and maybe even a bit more complicated.

    The Green Guerilla

  4. @aligaeta thanks for reading and I completely understand what you mean. Although Google et al are great at giving you lots of links most things tend to concentrate on the tip of the iceberg – a result of our lack of time (or at least perception thereof) and focus?
    I admit I’m a bit like @logbennett… I’m a sampler rather than a devourer (at least in certain topics).
    Writing a blog like this that is lacking in subject focus (i.e. it is not just about the work I do or a particular interest I have) means that everything has to be fairly superficial – even more so when you try to be topical and timely (as per the piece on Product Placement). With family, work etc I simply don’t have the time to devote to a lot researching so I kind of shoot from the hip as they say.
    However, there are certain subjects where I would happily spend a little more time with (my footie team, some elements of advertising).
    I guess the other question we need to ask ourselves when researching is when is enough enough? With endless articles, documents and videos to look through at what point do you feel you have exhausted a particular subject?
    Thank you both for your support once again

  5. Pingback: My all time top10 posts | The general musings of Andre Santos

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