I wish I could say I read your blog but chances are I don’t- at least not regularly. The photo above is a screenshot of an RSS reader that contains the blogs of all of the people I follow on Twitter and Facebook. As you can see there’s a lot of information out there. Too much for me to comprehend or manage. This is just one example of how inundated we are in today’s age.
It’s not just social media, it’s not just technology. It’s everywhere.
We are bombarded by ads on the TV, over the radio, all over the surfaces we walk, touch, and see every day. When I think of the idea of Information Overload I think of this clip from Minority Report:
Is this the future? No this is how we feel already when we walk down the hallway we call life. We are constantly being stimulated everywhere we go and sometimes we need a break- a retreat from it all.
The idea of social curation stems from the weariness we feel when we seek out information and end up with a mountain of raw data. We want a way to manage, control, and filter what eventually reaches us so it doesn’t consume us whole.
Brian Andreas understands these forces and has taken the idea a step further. Over at Fast Company he makes the claim that social media has become less social as we start to curate content just for our individual needs. I think he’s absolutely right. Sites like Pinterest and apps like Flipboard have made it easier for us to collect and organize content that we want. Sure we share it but are we really helping others by sharing what we like?
Andreas says, “Today’s social platforms are innately self-centered because that is how they have been conditioned to be over time and more often than not people are just blindly pushing out content, not actually sharing what we like, bought, saw, need, want with others.”
However there is room for collaboration and there are places where it is happening. When I did VEDA last summer, I discovered entire channels that are collaborative. The content is created by a group of vloggers who share the channel and the duty of vlogging for it. Other tools like Google Docs has made it easier for others to work together and share information.
Not everything about social media is centered on the self but what has changed is the way we consume information. It has now become easier to just read what you want to read and watch what you want to watch.
The question is how do we get ourselves to read the news we need to know and not just the news we want to know?