There’s a lot going on out there! Don’t get overloaded; learn some tips and tricks to stay on top of too much information.
What does staying informed mean?
- Who is providing the information?
- Is the source an expert or authority?
- Does the source provide a balanced viewpoint?
- Is the information current at the time of publication?
- Can you find two or more reliable sources that provide the same information?
- Why am I reading/watching/etc. this?
- Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”
- Info checklist
- Become a better searcher (a few basic pointers here)
2. What’s the scope of the problem?
- FOMO: fear of missing out. “Apprehension that one is not in-the-know or one is out of touch with some social events, experiences, and interactions.”
- Consider for FOMO: One way to determine the worth of something is to ask yourself, “would it matter if it wasn’t there anymore?”
- The problem of continuous partial attention
3. Tips & tricks
- People are the best filters: friends & family, but also professionals (incl. librarians)
- Libraries already filter and select good content, and try to be helpful.
- Beware the echo chamber effect / personalized search results (they might tailor their way around new, non-conforming information that you’d like or need). Philosophy: be able to argue your opponent’s position?
- Start habits for use at specific times of day
- Meditate and unplug
4. Specific resources:
- Set up filters and rules for your email account(s) / if possible, use a secondary account
- Feedly / Podcast Addict (other aggregators)
- Facebook lists
- Use Twilight / Flux to help wean at night
- Save time with keyword searches (Firefox)
- Save topical search queries
- Use context-sensitive mobile features (e.g. do not let call through after 9pm unless it’s family)
- Universal Class & GCFLearnFree.org
- The simplicity survival handbook: 32 ways to do less and accomplish more, by Bill Jensen
- Good strategies for dealing with information overload