I recently set up three google alerts for things that interest me:
Using these alerts, I found out the following things in 24 hours about my interests, without having to do anything but open an email:
- Ed Sheeran is a surprise hit in Pittsburgh
- There are rumours about the shooting of new Harry Potter scenes
- Some roads are closed in Sydney due to cyclone Oswald
I found this a really convenient way of keeping track of things I’m often googling. The answers were there in my email for when I wanted them and I did not have to check them.
However, it got me thinking about our need for information. Is it really necessary to find out everything about a news story or your favourite series without looking? To me, it was my computer encouraging me to be lazy. While it saves time, this method of sourcing new information is pretty full on.
I’m not denying that the internet and google have done a lot of great things for us, but shouldn’t we at least try to pretend our lives aren’t been entirely consumed and ran by machines, and stalk our favourite artists all on our own like big kids?
These google alerts can be cause for information overload, should you let them. While reading an article about this concept, I started to feel more comfortable with my opinion that these alerts aren’t all that necessary. The article deals with the fact that we are all students when it comes to the internet and social networking. While it admits that this is all a revolution I support the claims that state in terms of our internet usage,
“there is a very real human cost of social connectivity”.
I feel that creating alerts for every single update on whatever we chose is one facet of the internet that will cost us. My final thoughts on the subject revolved around this: Is it really that hard to just google something again?
The mentioned article can be found here: http://www.briansolis.com/2012/05/the-fallacy-of-information-overload/