Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Too Much Communication

plugged_ears1242413101 Last weekend I read an intriguing article in the Dutch newspaper, NRC. A communication researcher, Tjardus van Citters, wanted to give us all well-meaning advice. (Dutch titel: 'Welgemeend advies van een communicatie-expert: minder communicatie, s.v.p', Sept. 20, 2009.)

His article gives an overview of the sources that are increasing the number of signals we process each day. For instance the number of communication providers has increased. And the fact that our senses are being addressed more than ever.

This overview leads to his advice to communicate less. Why? Because our health is at stake. Our brains get more impulses to process. The model of 'selective perception' is out-dated. We get irritated by communication we did not want to see, leading to restlessness, even illness.

He therefore advises us to turn off signals. Read the news once a week instead of every few hours. Unsubscribe to things you don't want to receive. Be clear what kind of emails you don't want to get. Read from paper instead of screen (- you can concentrate on paper better than with reading from a screen, he says). And remember: the interest/importance of the message is defined by the sender.

Wow. This is really different from the trend that says we we moving to 'life streaming', 'filtering' and the 'real-time web'. I don't feel I'm becoming sick, irritated, etc. by the amount of information and communication signals I'm processing. Of course I do find we should think before we communicate and share. It should be mindful.

But I feel like I'm missing something here. Are you experiencing what is described in this post? And where can I read more about this subject, also proving the statement that more communication is unhealthy?

blog comments powered by Disqus