Everyone wants to live a happy and fulfilled life, but today, “noise” has become one of our greatest issues, making our personal fulfillment increasingly more difficult to achieve. We define “noise” as disempowering information, and we’re immersed in it. Politics, family, friends, colleagues, work, media, the internet, social media, advertising, etc., all contributing to our increasing daily dose of noise.
Although we have the “freedom” of unlimited information at our fingertips, this is only half the story. The other half involves using our resources wisely to penetrate the expanding “mind net” we’re all part of.
You can think about “noise” along two separate dimensions. First, the QUANTITY of disempowering information that surrounds you, and second the QUALITY of the information. With over 2 billion Web pages vying for your attention, experienced marketers are increasing the use of high powered “manipulative” strategies to get and keep you involved. In addition, the amount of traffic for the internet is doubling every 100 days, while the human brain is still much the same shape and size that it was 40,000 years ago, and only able to hold about seven bits of information in working memory at any one time.
Time management expert David Allen talks about a relatively new phenomena that is part of our “noisy” world. It involves the breakdown or our capacity to make effective decisions in our lives, leaving us more and more vulnerable to “automatic” behaviors and “shortcuts” that jeopardize our deeper and wiser thinking process. This process of decision fatigue is often masked, unconscious and denied by us, showing up instead, in behavioral symptoms such as depression, “burnout” and the breakdown of our physical health.
While we’re “addicted” to our technology and continue to operate under the illusion that technology is only one sided, without tradeoffs, the price of our increasing “noise” in life is only just beginning. The “noisemakers” understand all too well that Americans still believe the “more is better” myth of intelligence, including the narrow and outdated view of intelligence that limits I.Q. to only a few elements of it’s full range of potential.
It’s time now, to develop new strategies that have the potential to penetrate the noise and propel you toward personal fulfillment. What are your strategies for controlling information overload and “noise”? If you’re interested in becoming more FutureWise, it’s important to understand the implications of this escalating problem for your future well being and the well being of your family.