No Way Out

Here’s a perspective on the amount of data and information that’s out there, and continues to be created every day…

The amount of digital information created in 2010 (1.2 zettabytes) will equal 75 billion fully-loaded 16 GB Apple iPads, which would fill the entire area of Wembley Stadium to the brim 41 times (via, May 2010)

The amount of digital information created annually will grow by a factor of 44 from 2009 to 2020, as all major forms of media – voice, TV, radio, print – complete the journey from analog to digital (via EMC)

Twitter is estimated to have 175 million users, generating 95 million tweets a day (via, Sep 2010)

As of mid 2010, Facebook reports more than 500 million users worldwide who share more than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) each month (via

Shocking statistics, aren’t they? The question really is: How are you gearing up for it?

Here’s what I think.  The problem is only going to get worse in the years to come.  There’s not much you and I can do about that.  What we can do, however, is develop the ability to filter out the noise from the music.

That’s easier said than done, especially when you’re looking at “information overload” so large that no single phrase can adequately describe how BIG the overload really is.  We’ve all faced consequences of it, either by way of a burgeoning Inbox that refuses to quiet down to manageable levels, or via the endless barrage of tweets and status updates we have subscribed to, or even the always-on Blackberry culture that keeps us tethered to the office.

For some, it may mean reducing the number of xml subscriptions in their newsreader, reviewing the number of twitterers to follow, or even unfriending some folks from their FB list, even if it means risking some “social quotient” in the bargain.  For others, it may mean changing their complusive habits, and slowly but steadily, learning the art of focusing on the essentials and ignoring the rest… 

Whatever be our approach, we’re all going to have to make some tough choices.  It’s the only way out.

P.S. For good measure, let me share with you a link to an incisive TED talk on achieving the balance we so desperately need. Highly recommended.

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