TADD: What Are We Really Seeking?



TADD (Technological Attention Deficit Disorder) as coined by Jay here is all too familiar. Some say its a psychological disorder, but all I know is that my daily RSS feed diet can be pretty bloating. Like most next tech enthusiasts (OK, geeks:), knowing what's happening now can be an all consuming obsession if I let it. But how much do I really get from scanning 1000+ feeds a day, plus social streams from my network, and not to mention magazines, videos, TV, podcasts and more besides confusion?

Of course, I've asked the signal to noise question both publicly and to myself, and I do understand the value of discovering a curated gem from one of my trusted peers over the overwhelming number of PR posts on the tech blogs.

I've also unplugged (mostly by arm twisting from my wife) for many days at a time to discover either that I'd not really missed much, or feel that I'm completely out of the loop. But should the fear of not knowing really be a motivator?

Until there's possibly a better way to to receive more relevant (curated), easily digestible info; the real question may just fundamentally be in why I was seeking that knowledge in the first place? In other words, in a world where attention is scarce what is the most efficient means of spending it?

Instead of looking for more technical means like Feedhub or SocialThing to reign in the beast, maybe the filter should 1st and foremost be driven by our main purpose. What is it that I/we are trying to achieve by voraciously devouring information?

-Are we looking for inspiration to create, or sizing up the competition?

-Are we looking to challenge our thinking or validate an existing point of view?

-Are we seeking knowledge or ammunition?

The deeper answer may reveal more about us than we might realize. Kurzweilian or Bell's theories of memory enhancements not withstanding, it may be a good idea nonetheless to consider purpose over practice :)

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