We’ve all been found guilty of this at some point in our lives: We’re sitting in class or in a meeting, and all we want to do is doze off or browse the internet on our phones. It’s not because we’re tired or the information we’re receiving is uninteresting or irrelevant; we’re just bored.
And that’s part of the problem. As encyclopedias of information have become readily accessible at our fingertips, anywhere we want, the idea of simply sitting down and absorbing information for the sake of information has become an increasingly difficult proposition.
With social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, it has become exceptionally easy for us to find and disseminate relevant information from other information that we really don’t need.
But that has also made us extremely close-minded. With such apps as Flipboard and Zite for the iPad, we can literally read only articles and blogs that are relevant to what we are interested in and, as those apps learn our tastes, become more and more focused on providing us with that corresponding information. That would be like going into a grocery store automatically give us exactly what we need, every single time.
Which further begs the questions: Has our ability to choose what information we find simply made us bored with information? Have we become too overloaded with information that the only information we care about is only that which is catered specifically to our own tastes?
To some degree, yes. Although text messaging, social media, YouTube and other products of the digital revolution have since made communication much more simplified, and entertainment much more accessible, they have also vastly undermined the value of information as a whole. Why turn to the NYTimes and plod through the hundreds, if not thousands, of different articles covering huge varieties of topics, when you can just as easily read about the exact topic you’re interested in through a simple Google search or iPad app?
It would appear, here, that I’m simply accusing America of being too simple-minded, ignorant or, at worst, stupid; but that would be untrue. It would also be hypocritical, seeing as I, admittedly, have become enchanted by the same phenomenon that I appear to be criticizing.
But let this not stand as a critique towards the ways in which social media and convenience have seemingly pigeonholed us into a world full of selfishness and self-gratification; rather, it should stand as a challenge towards writers, teachers and information as a whole. The challenge, then, is not just in accurately portraying information — yes, that is obviously important — but instead in creatively portraying that same information in order to capture audiences.
If I’m in class, or in a meeting, I want to be captivated by information. I want it to be so intellectually stimulating and so important to me that I’ll want to blog about it. And, if it’s not too much to ask, I want it to enlighten me.
Still, we can and will always selfishly seek out news and media that stimulates us and drives us — that is just an inherent part of human nature.
But what about all of that other information in the world that also stands to challenge us intellectually and provide us with a more informed view of the world around us? Capturing other audiences with that information has become the real challenge.
Undeniably, we are already overloaded with information and stimuli as is. Even as I am writing this blog, I probably have at least several tabs open in the background of my web browser with articles or websites completely unrelated to what I am writing, have the TV on in the background, and am probably texting somebody on my phone.
But I can just as easily be distracted by something that grabs me by the throat and shouts, “ME! ME! ME!” Like this.
And while it may certainly be difficult to accept the fact that we need to constantly be bombarded by stimuli in order to just appreciate learning and information as a whole, it’s also kind of cool. “How could that be cool, dude?” you inquire.
How? Because now, information comes to us.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester social media company based in NY specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.