Infobesity – Too much information! Not the kind where your friend gives you explicit details of her night out with her lover that you’d rather forget as soon as possible. No, this is the information of the more mundane variety—facts, figures, and statistics, which we may sometimes need but usually don’t.
Do you know that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years? Which we might earlier have had to spend years in a library to find out! Even if we consider this to be a slight exaggeration, the fact is that the onset of the digital age has put information at our fingertips.
The great detective Sherlock Holmes once said that the human brain is like an empty attic at the time of birth, which we then slowly fill up with objects of our choosing. Could the internet make us fill our attic with useless junk objects, which leave little room for the essential things?
It is almost impossible in the modern age to be a web user without consuming random doubts of rather useless information that serves no purpose but to confuse our brains further. What is more, much of this information is often low-quality stuff with little authenticity. The public immediately gobbles up anything with even a pseudo-scientific vibe. Now believe in science as blindly as our ancestors once believed in religion, and scientists are our new deities.
Here’s a simple experiment for Infobesity
The next time you debate with a friend, instead of starting your argument with ‘I think that…’, start with ‘87% of scientists believe that…’ or ‘Research shows that…’
It doesn’t have to be true. Nobody cares if 87% of scientists believe what you claim they think or if the research has shown anything. Just the sight of the pseudo-scientific symbols and phrases reassures the average modern viewer of your claim’s authenticity, without any need for backup evidence.
That has created an environment where we are constantly exposed to a massive deluge of dubious information. It often paralyzes us and renders us incapable of making wise, well-thought-out decisions. Search Google for the simplest of problems, and you’ll get about a million different solutions in a fraction of a second.
Which ones are authentic, and which ones are not? What should you do? Should you go for a routine diet for your new pet or a feed-on-demand schedule? Should you use a foundation at that upcoming wedding, or would a concealer suffice? Is it ok to text your partner after midnight, or would that appear too clingy?
The internet has answers to every question, and sometimes it is these very solutions that retard our actions. Surfing the internet for random nuggets of facts and figures has become a pastime. We are so busy consuming useless information that we never actually use any of that amassed knowledge for any practical purpose.
The new-age moniker ‘Infobesity‘ defines a condition where the vast deluge of information constantly dumped onto our poor limited brains makes them stop working efficiently, retarding our progress and diminishing our well-being. It amalgamates the two terms’ information’ and ‘obese.’ You know how too many cupcakes can be unhealthy for our physical bodies. Similarly, too much information on the internet can threaten our mental well-being.
Gorging on cheap, readily available information may not be all that better than devouring fast food 24 hours a day!
Originally posted 2015-09-16 14:50:19.