How much information is enough?

[Originally posted at The SufficiencyProject.net]

Magnifying glass and book

Just because we have easy access to fast internet connections, Google, and an information-driven and information-obsessed economy, does not mean that we, each of us, need to be the nexus for all of it.

  • How long do you take to read a book, article, or newspaper?
  • Do you ever stop and think about the book, chapter, page, or sentence that you just read?
  • Do you ever find yourself not remembering what you’ve just read?
  • Does reading ever feel like work?

A few thoughts on information-absorption versus meaningful reading:

  • There is more information produced every single day than you possibly absorb in a lifetime.
  • Information is cheap and abundant and your time and attention are precious and scarce.
  • Ask yourself if what you are paying attention to/reading/watching is worth your time. If it is, then do it more slowly. If it is not, then stop.
  • Information is not meaning or wisdom.

My challenge to you today: Consider your information intake. If you have an RSS feeder with more than 5 feeds, choose only one to read this week. If you are reading more than one book or magazine, choose only one, read it at half your present speed, and read only 10 pages per day. If you watch television or movies (or YouTube), choose only one show or one movie for this week.  If you use each of these media sources, choose one per day. Think about what you’re going to give your attention to, and afterward consider what you did give your attention to.