In the interest of research and proper use of the technology I followed the hashtag #londonriots. On Tweetdeck that hashtag stream is moving so quickly as to be not of any use. My own stream has, at a guess, 70% of tweets relating to the riots.
This is of course the complete other extreme to my offline experiences on holiday. People are clearly mesmerized by the whole situation. I can understand it – I was in Austin Texas during 9/11 and it was difficult to do anything other than watch events unfold on the TV. Today they combine TV and Twitter.
It does underline the way our lives have changed. This is an addiction to data. We take onboard so much information it is impossible to know what to do with it. In fact most of it is discarded which underlines the total waste of the time spent gathering it in the first place.
I could apply the same logic to photos. Last week on holiday I took 849 photos consuming 2.3GB disk space. That’s more than the 1.54GB (2,177 photos) as much as I took in the whole of 2003. Year to date in 2011 I have taken 9,985 photos using 49.9GB of disk space and there is still almost half the year to go. Ok this does now include videos and the photos are of higher quality than in 2003 but it is still a big change and very representative of the information overload in our society.
The point is how to manage all this data and how to apportion the right amount of time to it. I still don’t have the answer but it is somewhere in between how I got on on holiday in Mull and the start of this week with all the online reporting of #londonriots. What I do know is that whoever cracks the problem, if there is a solution, is going to make a lot of money out of it.