Recipe for a digital diet

The digital information flow in our lives is increasingly complex to manage.
Think about how you manage digital content in your life. News, blogs, streaming video, books, music, etc. The options for consuming digital information are changing rapidly. They include not only hardware devices but also software tools made specifically for managing our digital intake. Chances are that if you are reading this post that you use multiple tools and those tools change over time.  For example, I remember using Delicious and Plaxo at one time. But today, I’ve replaced those two  with Evernote and LinkedIn. I use other tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Google Reader and have more in my toolbox. I bet you do to. Which is exactly my point. It’s complicated.

We are making choices everyday choosing what to consumer and what to ignore.
As with food, the abundance of the information in our lives creates a decision for what we will and will not consume each day. There’s just too much to consume it all and we have other activities in our lives, outside of processing digital information, that are important. Our choices are  individual decisions:

  • What tools to use
  • What information to read, watch, listen to
  • What new information to add (status updates, shares, comments, etc.)

So what’s your game plan for managing a digital diet?
How do you make those daily choices of what, when, and how you’ll process information? My answer to this question may be changing over time as I try different techniques and methods. One principal that is very clear to me is that even within my information filters, such as people and site follows/subscriptions, there is too much information for me to consume it all. That means there are social status updates, blog posts, news articles, published videos, etc. that I never see to consume.

My information management plan has evolved into a strategy of quality over quantity.
Gone are the days with trying to skim and consume it all. I found that with this ‘quantity’ approach that I really did not benefit from the information because I did not have time to think and process the information. After all, the goal of our reading, watching, and listening is to learn, think about, reply, and apply the information in our lives right? Otherwise why are you doing it?

So my consumption routine has slowed down a bit. I’m finding it is more valuable to skim content headings and summaries to find information that potentially gives me a deeper dive into a topic of interest. A quick preview of the information will confirm or deny this. But if it’s information that I want to enjoy then I try to slow down and absorb it. What I’m really after is thinking about what I’m consuming. This means be engaged, respond, contribute, share, maybe even write a blog post about it. 😉

So the thought of quality or quantity is to choose wisely and then make the most of what information you allow in your life. I realize that’s not a new concept or any startling revelation. But it’s a necessity in this age when a digital stream of data flowing at rapid rate is facing us each day.

Happy eating.