Information Overload, is it Possible?

Traditionally, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Now, too much preparation can be bad things if they’re not carefully organized. With access to an unlimited amount of information, anyone can gather all the information he or she needs to make the best decision. “I Can’t Think!” by Sharon Begley claims otherwise. Begley’s research shows exposure to too much information can be counterproductive to decision making. At first, I was weary of such accusations. It wasn’t until I read the example of a college student switching their major that her thesis hit home. I’ve changed my major three times now because, after hours of researching a major, I’d grow discontent with the aspects of the job. Access to too much information caused me to change my major three times. I often find myself regretting a decision long after making it and it’s not until the consequences of that decision is completely revealed that I’m definitively happy or not. The period preceding this revelation is filled with anxiety and uncertainty caused by an overload of information. To an extent, I have to maintain a level of ignorance to be happy with a decision I’ve made. However, if you isolate and prioritize what’s important to making that decision before hand, then you will avoid the repetitious, redundant, abundant, and, therefore, useless information that disengages your brain’s ability to make coherent decisions. Exposure to such useless information is inevitable and it must be sorted through to find what you’re looking for. If you distinguish what’s important from the beginning, you will have a lower quantity of information, but its quality will be more relevant to the decision at hand. I’ve found that the remedy to information paralysis is isolation and frequent breaks.
Whether you’re trying to purchase the best computer for yourself or declare your major, these techniques will help your mind reset and force you to subconsciously consider the important information that goes into making the right decisions. For example, my decision to pursue radio/television production was not an easy one. Once I realized what parts of choosing a career were important to me I was able to move forward. Job availability and passion for what I do were key factors in my decision. I also wanted a profession that allowed me to stretch my artistic ability. This helped me identify and exterminate unimportant factors that were initially clouding my decision. It was only after this realization that I was able to focus on what made me want to get out of bed every morning as opposed to what job paid the most. Access to too much information often clouds judgment. Being able to isolate what will ultimately be important to you will help you make the best decision for yourself.

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