In this new version of the fable, information took the place of LSD, the magic substance whose consumption could transform the world.
Let’s just type the word “internet” in Google…here we go! Got it: we have 4,100,000,000 results found. One more time, let’s try, for example, “twitter” now. The result is even more shocking: 11,810,000,000 sources found. Kind of too much, don’t you think? For sure, it’s good that we have access to that much amount of information, but it’s also bad because of actually the same reason: the quantity of information. How much is too much?
Well, the key idea is that we are the lucky owners of a magnificent opportunity (for sure) to have that much information but at the same time we are the poor guys because exactly this opportunity not only benefits but kills us. We’re just lost in the quantity; the websites suggest too much information about the required search and this information is basically controversial to one another in some aspects. You can scroll down hundred of thousand of pages in purpose to find the truth. And shocking to you, you actually cannot find this truth at the end. How often did you face such situation: you type something in the Google search graph, then click the first link, read the material and go click the second link to make sure you correctly understand everything you read under the first link. So you go and read the second link article and realize that the info given there is a little different from the info written in the first article. You’re confused, so you go and click the third, the fourth and the fifth links. And now…surprise! You’re much more confused than you could expect because the information given in all 5 sources you just opened and read was in some aspects different, and so at the end you still cannot be sure you got a clear reply to the question you typed in “search” at the very beginning. Well, sorry, but you’re drowning in the quantity of info…
A few years ago it was unthinkable, unbelievable. And what do we have now? More books than any of us could even think of having, more music that we could ever think of listening to, more pictures that we could even dream of scrolling down.
In 2012, there were more than 2 million search queries on Google per minute. In 2014, that number has more than doubled! So today, Google receives over 4 million search queries per minute from the 2.4 billion strong global internet population. That’s actually just one statistics that clearly describes the problem of quantity of information we have now.
The internet has become a place where massive amounts of information and data are being generated every day. “Big data isn’t just some abstract concept created by the IT crowd, but a continually growing stream of digital activity pulsating through cables and airwaves across the world.” Just imagine that this data actually never sleeps: everyone generates it every single second from laptops, phones, etc. We’re juggling with all the data we have thinking we control it but in real, this data controls us. We’re lost in it. In the quantity and quality.
YouTube users upload 72 hours of video every minute, Facebook users share 2.5 million pieces of content every minute, Instagram users post nearly 220.000 new photos every minute, and Tumblr sees 27.778 new posts published every single minute.
With the phrase said by Stewart Brand 30 years ago, “Information wants to be free,” has started the global data revolution. And what we get now is that information is actually free. But where’s the limit of this all-absorbing freedom? Tons, thousand of tons of information and we’re, people, somewhere not on the top controlling all this info, but instead somewhere at the very bottom swamped with all that. Let’s be honest, the information controls and presses us, not we control and press the information. That’s too much of it.
– Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
– Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
– Email users send over 200 million messages.
– Amazon generates over $80,000 in online sales.
“There is only so much information any of us can bear, and we cannot go fishing in the stream if we are drowning in it.” Click, click…from one link to another. Click, click, and we’re lost.