Last Updated Dec 16, 2009 12:28 PM EST
So you've conquered info overload, right? You always have a plan, a schedule, a process for getting things done.
No, of course not. Tom Davenport writes on Harvard Business Publishing that if we wanted to tame this problem we would have done so. It's not that we enjoy 24/7 availability, but rather we hunger for what it brings us. Davenport doesn't use the analogy, but I will:
We want to kick the drug, but we like the rush too much.
Here are three reasons that Davenport believes we remain tethered to the Perpetual Information Machine. Sounds like junkie behavior to me.
- We crave the new and exciting. "Our work and home lives can be pretty boring, and we're always hoping that something will come across the ether that will liven things up," Davenport writes. That sweet job offer might in the next e-mail, after all.
- We suffer from information inertia. Davenport says we have all kinds of filters, blocks and other technology to tame our IO, but we are too lazy or too busy to use them. When was the last time you unsubscribed from anything?
- We undervalue our own attention. When the latest Tiger "bimbo eruption" diverts our focus away from work, we are not valuing our own attention very highly.
Are we addicted to instant information?