Is too much information, too much? The short answer, no. Sure, at times we feel there’s an information overload with our convenient access to Google, the internet, Twitter, or Facebook. When we want to know something, all we have to do is pull out our mobile devices and type in our search request. Sure some searches are irrelevant: “What’s the weather looking like,” or “what ridiculous name did that famous couple name their kid now?” While others may hold more weight: “How can I crowdfund my next development,” or “Who’s the best doctor?” We have an information freeway available 24-7 at our fingertips, and most of us use it without even thinking about it.
Think back to a situation when you had to make a major decision in your life or business. Was it an investment opportunity? A surgery? Quitting or applying for a job? If it was P.G. (pre-google), you probably had to do a lot of research in a library or by discussing it with family, friends, and colleagues. The more people we talk to, the more we read, the more we know.
But what made them the experts and how did you know their information was reliable? When it comes down to it, you really didn’t, and it was more your gut taking the lead. That’s where your gut instincts come from and we’ve always been told to trust it.
Now, enter Google and the internet and technology-the players in the game that can question our “gut instincts”. With readily available information at all times, we’re almost fascinated with filling in any missing gaps or unanswered questions. Is this a bad thing? I don’t believe so. One thing I love about information is that the more of it I have, the better I feel that I can make a more educated decision.
For example, would you have a surgery based on a recommendation alone? Some people, maybe, others probably not. Most people would want to know the success rate, how many successful surgeries have there been, how many failed, why did they fail, etc. If you went home, looked up the rate of success and it was 95%, wouldn’t you feel better about making your decision? What if the success rate was only 30%, would you then consider a second opinion or an alternative solution?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more information and as much of it as you can. The more we are learning, the better we can process that information into a decision – an informed decision at that. We’re only scratching the surface of what data can do for our personal and business lives. Each piece of it affects the overall picture and what it will reveal to us about the future.
Don’t let the availability of information overload you. Use it as a tool to make better decisions for your future. Remember, data is data and should be used, processed and analyzed. It’s not meant to trump your gut instincts, but to work together and make the best decision. Maybe it’s not the information that needs to change, but a possibility that your gut may actually feel differently once it has all the information. Don’t be afraid of data, embrace what it has to offer.