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Time for an Information Diet

Time for an Information Diet

Hundreds of emails, dozens of phone calls, a Zoom meeting here, a Teams meeting there, constant timeline refreshes, status updates, comments, likes and alerts. From work communication to news media, to memes, to your friend’s girlfriend’s dog’s Instagram page, the amount of information we’re exposed to has seemingly reached an impossibly huge crest. There is no doubt that the past few months have been completely overwhelming, but they have also posed a major question for us: are we TOO connected?

In my opinion, the answer is categorically YES. Most people simply have too much information coming in daily to process and make logical conclusions about this information, yet alone act on these conclusions. My suggestion is that it’s time for many of us to start dieting. Yes, you heard me correctly. It is time to start cutting the junk from your information intake immediately. As with any diet, this must start by removing the most unhealthy, useless calories of information. In this case, that box of doughnuts is your social media account. That’s right, a millennial is telling you to delete your Instagram app, unfollow that celebrity Twitter account, and to stop checking the news every two hours.

It’s key to replace these lost calories with healthier and more productive activities. I think that deleting junk information will give us more of an opportunity to review our goals, and refocus on what really matters. The average social media user spends well over 2hrs per day on social media apps[1]. This may seem like an impossible figure, but a few moments here and there of scrolling, commenting, posting, and messaging adds up quickly. While you may not gain a full 2hrs of extra time per day by hitting the ol’ delete button on the Twitter machine, you’ll certainly find you have more time and energy to collaborate with co-workers, check in on your clients, pay more attention to your family, read a book, or just take a few moments to sit outside. Beyond the extra time gained, you may also feel more connected to those around you, and less affected by the constant FOMO and consumerism promoted by social media.

If you don’t believe me, or you’re still thinking that deleting your social media is too extreme a measure for you; I challenge you to perform the following experiment:

  • Determine which social media app you use the most via the “screen time” section in your phone settings
  • Delete that app from your phone (you can keep your account if you like)
  • Refrain from accessing this app for one week

At the end of the week, think about how you feel. Did you really miss anything important? Were you able to spend more quality time with your family? Did you feel less distracted at work? I have a feeling that you’ll begin to realize that social media isn’t nearly as essential as our generation has been led to believe. It’s my hope that by reducing the amount of junk information we’re exposed to, young leaders in the construction industry can spend more time and energy focusing, collaborating, and innovating.

We are living through easily the greatest challenge our generation has faced (thus far). Times are tough, and they may get tougher. We need to silence some of the constant background noise and focus.

– Andrew Christie

[1] We Are Social (https://wearesocial.com/blog/2020/07/more-than-half-of-the-people-on-earth-now-use-social-media)

 

Article by Lena Hogarth
August 19, 2020

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