Information overload!

Candice: Does anyone find the multiple forms of communication out there a little over whelming? I’ve found recently that I am struggling to deal with the number of ways people can contact me.  Currently I have:Stressed : stressed woman with telephones in her hands. isolated on white

  1. a Linkedin account
  2. Two business email accounts – for my company
  3. One work email account – for where I am currently working
  4. a Twitter account
  5. a Facebook account
  6. Text
  7. Mobile
  8. Home Phone

Writing it all out like that makes you realise just how many ways there are to be contacted or get in touch.  Help, I’m drowning in over communication.

Obviously I have a Blackberry to keep an eye on my personal stuff but have taken to emailing friends and family from work as I seem to be constantly keeping up with things – ‘have you answered that text/email?’  I get home from work and that last thing I want to do is answer the phone or log on.  And then, of course, there are the blog posts to maintain.  It’s hard because I am still maintaining my business while working this contract, as well as trying to keep my Twitter and Facebook life active (as marketing experiment as much as anything else) and keeping an eye on extra’s working coming through, ’cause if you dont jump on it quick you don’t get the job!

The other half even said to me earlier – I have to get BBM as my friend in Dubai only uses that else I cant keep in touch with him.  WHAT!

Phil and I have recently had some feedback on our short story submission (more details to follow soon) and I read that straight away, thus putting a damper on an afternoon when they didn’t tell me we were the next JK Rowling.  If I hadnt jumped to that email there and there I might not have ruined my afternoon!

So I’ve decided to take a bit of a sabbatical from the bleeping red light on my phone.  They used to be called ‘crackberries’ and I can see why. I also read somewhere that we are now struggling with a syndrome where we actually feel ill if we can’t look at an incoming message or text.  I know the feeling, I got one during dinner last night and you are itching to read it while eating your dinner.  How sad is that.

So I’ve decided when it comes to my personal emails that I am going to be checking them less often, lunch breaks and convenient times not all the time.  Twitter, well that’s more addictive than Facebook so I am dialling that down for a while too, else I seem to spend most of my evenings retweeting things.  The pull comes when someone answers your question – I find that little blue bird more addictive than the bleep or a text.

It’s all about self control I think, teaching yourself not to reach for the phone every time it makes a noise or the light flashes.  Otherwise, one will go slightly insane!

As the American’s say ‘Timeout’

How do you find it in the modern age?

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5 Comments

Filed under Candice, Writing

5 responses to “Information overload!

  1. What the heck is BBM ?

    All of this comes down to one thing – communication. Thinking of the technologies that have revolutionised the world, they all feed the human desire to talk to one another. This started with cave painting, then printing, then TV and Radio, telephones and finally, the web.

    The most succesful websites are those for communicationg too: Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Skype come to mind. Selling is very much secondary despite what people say. This also fits in with my thoery that what people want from the web more than anything, is something new. The BBC News site is constantly updated so we visit it often. A new e-mail ? Must read it now. Oh look, Dorrie has changed her Facebook status. And so it goes on.

    You are right, we can’t cope and the example of being desperate to read that message during dinner is spot on. I even know couples who communicate via Facebook while in the same house sometimes.

    Can we switch off ? It’s going to be tough. Far tougher than most people realise. Mind you, you haven’t responded to my e-mail yet, so it’s working 🙂

  2. I don’t feel any pressure to communicate! My mobile only makes and receives ‘phone calls as I can’t be bothered to text and it’s off most of the time anyway. E mails I read on the server and delete all those I don’t want to read but the Nolanparker postings are one of the few on the priority list. Facebook is great for keeping in touch with the extended family and a few friends in the UK, France, Spain and Australia but not much else. Don’t Tweet. Post to my design and art websites and a new blog on old mechanical stuff and model/real railways. Also on Behance and a couple of other design/art networks that may lead to work commissions.
    What really gets my goat is at a dinner party/barbecue/general get together, when I’m having a conversation with someone and their communicator goes off, they have to look at it or answer. Sooo rude.
    And I hate smileys too.
    And George Michael.

  3. I like emoticons (smileys) 🙂 and ambivelent on the subject of George Michael.

    Having sat at dinner in a restaurant with someone conducting a text conversation, I think some things should be illegal. Punishable by a lifetime chocolate ban.

  4. I’m finding it harder to get away! I spend all day at my laptop, and part of my job as a writer is to publicise myself. And part of my jobs at other places where I freelance edit/publish is to publicise them, too. So it becomes that “going on facebook” is actually “marketing” and I can fool myself like this for hours.

    Some days, little writing gets done. But I’ve tweeted some really, really, really interesting things…that are immediately drowned in the sea of babble.

  5. “It’s all about self control I think” – You’ve definitely correctly diagnosed information overload as a symptom of digital overconsumption. Many people these days don’t have the self-control or willpower to email, browse, game, or [insert technology verb, product or service]. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that most platforms, like Twitter, are designed to keep the user engaged and on-site (or revisiting the site) as long/frequent as possible. The next wave of technology will be platforms and tools that encourage more sustainable relationships with our technology. That’s what we’re working on at Skim.Me (http://skim.me) to help you make your daily browsing more productive.

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