Have you perfected “the pause” yet?

The effects of information overload vary widely, but your innate capacity to manage it could have something to do with your age. On one side of the spectrum are Digital Natives — loosely defined as those who were born between 1995 and 2010. They don’t know a world without the internet, social networks, and mobile devices. On the other side is…essentially everyone else alive today.

Digital Natives have never been limited by a “time filter” of information delivery. Just 25 years ago, answering a simple question like “what’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?” or waiting for the 6 o’clock news to learn the top stories might have taken hours to answer.. Today, just pull out your smartphone — or turn your wrist.

We all know that having too much information, relying on the wrong information, or not having an adequate synthesis of available data (as well as the associated stress that comes with each) are just some of the negative impacts of information overload.

Pre-digital natives were frequently required to “pause” and wait for key information. It allowed them to think before making a decision. Digital natives are, in many ways, expected not to pause. But not pausing can lower the quality of our decisions, lower our performance, and ultimately cause burnout.

There’s a balance to be struck. As Sean Connery showed us in the film The Hunt for Red October (I had to choose a pre-Digital Native film, right?), even with information coming at us from all directions, a short pause to layer in experience and instinct can be the difference between success and slamming into the wall of an underwater canyon.

  • One ping only: In what year was The Hunt for Red October released? Extra credit for the month. (answer below)
Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October / Source: Paramount Pictures

WHAT I’M READING

No matter what demographic group you’re a part of, if you’re a leader, learn to identify, and hone your own, empathy. “Deep and lasting development of empathy requires more than temporarily seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. It entails sustainably shifting from a focus on the self to an awareness and appreciation of interdependence.” Why leaders aren’t powerful without this 1 thing — Fast Company — September 27, 2021

When the idea of a “Kids Instagram” was originally floated back in March, I had to check my calendar to see if it wasn’t April 1st. My first thought was: advertisers must be absolutely chomping at the bit. The issue is not about kids lying about their age to have Instagram accounts — we know this happens. The issue is giving advertisers the ability to specifically micro-target advertising to those under the “13 and Older” demographic. Instagram puts kids version ‘on ice’ after critical backlash — TechCrunch — September 27, 2021

  • No filter: According to Facebook’s own internal research, Instagram makes body image issues worse for what percentage of teenage girls? (answer below)

YOU WON’T READ THIS ANYWHERE ELSE

Honestly, when I looked at the color, it reminded me of the way the skies in Colorado look right after a wildfire had been brought under control. But I guess they figured “Colorado Sky With Slight Post-Wildfire Haze” wouldn’t sell as much paint. Bright skies named colour of the year — here’s why there’s so much more to the heavens than blue — The Conversation — September 27, 2021

TRIVIA ANSWERS

  • The Hunt for Red October, based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, was released February 2, 1990, and starred Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn…heck — everyone cool at that time was in this film.
  • According to internal Facebook presentation slides unearthed by the Wall Street Journal, nearly one-third of teenage girls reported that Instagram made them have a worse body image. “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” another internal slide stated. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

This briefing was built using Turbine Labs’ Thought Leadership Enhancement Software.

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Founder/CEO of Turbine Labs. I write about information access, overload, and bias, as well as our AI-powered software. (turbinelabs.com / @turbinelabs)