6.29.2016

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?

What questions to ask?

  1. Who is providing the information?
  2. Is the source an expert or authority?
  3. Does the source provide a balanced viewpoint?
  4. Is the information current at the time of publication?
  5. Can you find two or more reliable sources that provide the same information?

But also:

  • Why am I reading/watching/etc. this?
  • Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

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

      1. People are the best filters: friends & family, but also professionals (incl. librarians)
      2. Libraries already filter and select good content, and try to be helpful.
      3. 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?
      4. Start habits for use at specific times of day
      5. Meditate and unplug

4. Specific resources:

      1. Set up filters and rules for your email account(s) / if possible, use a secondary account
      2. Feedly / Podcast Addict (other aggregators)
      3. Facebook lists
      4. Use Twilight / Flux to help wean at night
      5. Save time with keyword searches (Firefox)
      6. Save topical search queries
      7. Use context-sensitive mobile features (e.g. do not let call through after 9pm unless it’s family)

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