Reducing Information Pollution
David M. Levy, who has lived his life between the “fast world” of high tech and the “slow world” of contemplation, offers a welcome guide to being more relaxed, attentive, and emotionally balanced, and more effective, while online.
In a series of exercises carefully designed to help readers observe and reflect on their own use, Levy has readers watch themselves closely while emailing and while multitasking, and also to experiment with unplugging for a specified period. Never prescriptive, the book opens up new avenues for self-inquiry and will allow readers—in the workplace, in the classroom, and in the privacy of their homes—to make meaningful and powerful changes.
The amount of multitasking students do during class and while studying is alarming.
Consistently, in response to surveys, more than 85% of students say they have their phones on in class, are looking at texts as they come in and during class, and between 70 and 90% say they respond to texts in class. And this is happening in courses with policies that prohibit or significantly curtail the use of electronic devices.
The message of this book is quite simple: multitasking doesn’t work.
The fact that you’re doing it and you’re still successful doesn’t mean the opposite. It probably means that you don’t have enough time to do anything else. And that you’ll finish twice as more if you start to singletask.
The root cause of stress and work-related exhaustion does not come from what is happening in our external environment, but how we respond to it from our internal landscape; more specifically – from how our mind reacts to what we are experiencing and the extent to which we are able to effectively manage our mind, or not.
You can hardly be alone, in this modern age. Bombarded with gadgets that fit your palm to the huge screens that have replaced walls, you cannot escape the captivating attraction of being connected, entertained, stimulated and engaged all at the same time!
And what happens when your senses are overactive – when you are checking your inbox, a whatsapp message, an SMS, the latest beer commercial, the number of “likes” on your clever status message? You end up being, what is colloquially called, a Multitasker – one who does many things at once.
Interruptions, multitasking and poor sleep were associated with significantly increased rates of prescribing errors among emergency physicians. WMC mitigated the negative influence of these factors to an extent. These results confirm experimental findings in other fields and raise questions about the acceptability of the high rates of multitasking and interruption in clinical environments.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been urged to cut the volume of disclosures required for IFAs amid concerns that consumers are facing an ‘information overload.’
In its response to the FCA’s Smarter Consumer Communications discussion paper, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (Apfa) also welcomed the regulator’s suggestion to develop a ‘layering’ approach to rules to indicate priority, as opposed to a current regulatory environment where ‘all rules are created equal.’
Technology revolutions come in measured, sometimes foot-dragging steps. The lab science and marketing enthusiasm tend to underestimate the bottlenecks to progress that must be overcome with hard work and practical engineering.
The amount of data produced each day is staggering. In fact, the Harvard Business Review points out that “more data cross the internet every second than were stored in the entire internet just 20 years ago.” Because of this, internet users experience “information overload,” where they become overwhelmed with the bevy of information available — even pushed on them — through multiple technologies.