Too much (digital) information

Sometime I wonder how other people manage all the information that comes across their screen every day. This morning, I read that there are 554 million people on Twitter. I follow 340 of them.

I started following most of them as a reporter at The Canadian Jewish News, and have added more than a few post-downsizing – mostly related to food and writing. I keep thinking I should edit my list, but there are always more pressing tasks. It’s impossible to keep up with all the Tweets, and I’m satisfied with checking Twitter once or twice a day and thinking of whatever I see as a window into what I want to know. But, wow, is Twitter a time-eater if you allow it to be!

I’m also a member of several groups on LinkedIn, and I follow a lot more blogs than I used to. My email inbox is filled with updates, not to mention regular email. I like to read, and I’m interested in most of what crosses my screen. I’ve had to discipline myself not to click on too many links.

Sometimes I find it overwhelming. And I didn’t mention Facebook, which I’m finding more manageable timewise than I did when I first joined.

This morning, in my e-mail, I found a post from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, that resonated with me. It didn’t deal with information overload per se, but she wrote about the importance of having a foundation: habits like adequate sleep and exercise that make it easier to work on other habits. I think it’s a good strategy against being overwhelmed, not just digitally but in any aspect of life.

I’ve been deleting a lot of unnecessary emails lately, but I plan to keep this one. At least for now.