The Problem is Not Information Overload
But information overload isn’t the problem. If it was, you’d walk into a library and die. The first time you connected to the Web, you’d blow up, and merely browsing a newspaper would make you a nervous wreck. Actually, a plethora of information is relaxing. One reason a stroll in the woods can be so calming is because of the quantity and variety of visual and auditory input. In an environment of too little information, we get really uncomfortable. Sensory deprivation is unsettling.
… So, why isn’t lots of e-mail experienced as a soothing event, like a walk in nature? Why hasn’t it been accepted as part of our ordinary reality, like thinking all the time, as we do? One simple reason: each one of those e-mails might mean something.