Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Experiment in Information Consumption

I was realizing earlier that I consume ridiculous amounts of information each day. I read several blogs, and that plus Facebook, Twitter, various links, and after following all of those down bunny trails...I wonder how I get ANYTHING else done (answer: sometimes I don't). I do not have what I would call an Internet or social media addiction, but an information addiction. I'm afraid of missing out on something interesting, so I consume everything I can. It's not a stressful thing, but it is a time-consuming thing. I'm not certain I want to change it - I love learning things, even trivial or entertaining things, and sometimes there is truly useful information to be had.

However, because I do love information, I thought I'd find out a little more. I propose to track, for one week (starting Sunday), my entire information consumption on the Internet: every link, article, blog, and video, organizing it in percentages by day, type of media, source (social networks, blogs, searches, other browsing), category of content (i.e. entertainment, news, and any other categories that emerge), and see what patterns show. Maybe I will even work up some fun infographics, who knows. Depending on what I find (and how difficult it is to track, considering I'm on around 5-10 different devices/machines during the week), maybe it will be interesting to continue it over a slightly longer period.

UPDATE, 2/13/12:

Unfortunately, this will be postponed a week. I made the classic mistake of not backing up my information and lost everything I was keeping track of when Blogger glitched. I was saving all the links to things as an unpublished post because it was the simplest way to save things between school, work, home, and mobile, but as I was adding something the post blanked out and then saved. Empty. So I will be using a different method next week. However, I am still really looking forward to the results!

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