Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The other day while waiting for my appointment, the conversation went something like this: “It was great; you should have been there,” she said. “I didn’t know about it,” her friend replied. “I sent you an email,” the answer came back. Friend came back with “I get too much mail so I probably ignored it! You should have called me.” “Well,” her friend retorted, “I hate talking to your machine since you always let your phone calls go to the answer machine.”

And so it goes. Are we ailing from too much information being made available to us? I think a good question is how do we learn about things that are happening that we care about?

The problem is that between emails, radio, TV, blogs, newspapers, information and video feeds on the Internet, discussion groups, poster signs, telephone calls, and word of mouth, I think it’s reasonable to think one can suffer from information overload. Yet and still, there are always people who don’t get the word. Remember the old line: some don’t know, some don’t care, and a small number both know and care!

Since each of us “manage” information differently, a lot of us probably manage to miss stuff that we care about because our process "blocks" stuff that we would really want to know. Fewer people read newspapers. Fewer people watch TV news. More people turn to the Internet, but how do they know what they might have missed until it’s too late?

I wonder how others are dealing with this and what recommendations they have for how to help busy people stay informed. What really ails us, apathy, ignorance, overload or a combination?