BY BRYAN HOLIDAY
If we’re products of the food we eat, wouldn’t we also be products of the information we consume?
So says author Clay A. Johnson in his recently published book The Information Diet.
If over-consumption of food is bad for our bodies, could the over-consumption of information be bad for our minds? It’s not that we’re overloaded with food or information, it’s that we over consume these value-neutral commodities.
It’s hard to believe that in an average day we’re exposed to 11 hours of information.
What’s perhaps even more interesting is that there’s now a strong trend that indicates that affirmation sells a lot better than information. In other words we’re now accepting the blurring of the lines between news and opinion and we’re all attracted to sources of information that re-confirm our values, attitudes and prejudices.
Twenty five billion people have mobile phones. Smart phones are really pocket-sized libraries, printing presses, cameras, radios and televisions so it’s not surprising that the business models of traditional newspaper companies are unsustainable.
Could all this info-churning have any impact on meetings? Yes, any change in society impacts on meetings, particularly advances in technology; and no, because the primeval urge for people to meet to share emotional experiences will exist forever.
In an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald it was reported a recent academic study suggested social media is harder to resist than cigarettes and alcohol and that some US travel destinations are marketing digital detox holiday packages. This isn’t really surprising as we all know people who suffer withdrawal symptoms if they can’t access Facebook or fiddle with their mobile phone or other digital gadget.
It’s not technology that’s at fault but our over-consumption of inappropriate and mindless information, so let’s all make sure that we have a healthy information diet.