Social Media: the Cure for Information Overload

Did you know that…

One weekday issue of the New York Times has more information in it than an educated man in the 17th century would amass in a lifetime?

Every minute, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube? That is 600 hours uploaded every hour of the day. That translates to 14400 hours of video uploaded per day.

There is a new blog born every half a second? That means that there are 175,000 new blogs every day and that the blogosphere doubles every 60 days.

The Average person is exposed to 3,000 ads per day?

Just a decade ago, if you needed to do some research, you would have to go to a library and work with the few books and encyclopedias that they had on your subject. Today we are not only surrounded by information, we are completely overloaded with it and we don’t know how to handle it. If you don’t pay attention to any of it, you will fall behind and get lost but if you try and take it all in, you will never in a million years have enough time to soak it all in.

The solution to this problem is “social media”. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon as well as RSS readers allow you to keep on top of everything that is important. Unlike a newspaper or the 6:00 news, you define what is important. With social media, you get to build your own community of likeminded people and friends who help each other out on a regular basis. If your interest is humor, your social media group will also be interested in humor. If you are a marketing professional, then you will be connected to other marketing professionals or at least people who enjoy marketing. It is these people who will flag articles, blogs, videos and anything else that would be of interest to your group so that you don’t have to wade through all the other garbage out there and you can focus on what is important to you.

True that not everyone from a certain group has identical taste and that is why you can build your own network, person by person. You do not have to lock yourself into any set group and hope that you are compatible. You can build your own group based on your friends, your likes and your needs.

People used to have to check their email and the news every few minutes to know what is happening in the world. Now all you have to do is check your social networks every once in a while and see whats going on. If something is important, you can be sure that it will keep appearing.

By using Twitter, instead of sitting on Google for hours calling everyone you know for suggestions, you can just send a tweet and people from your community will help you out. For example, if you are traveling on business and get hungry, you can send a tweet from your phone that you need a restaurant in the city that you are in and everyone in your network will send you suggestions if they have them. Now, your network is only as strong as you make it and will only give you as much value as you put in.

So, make sure you build a strong network and add as much value to it as you possibly can because if you do, your network will be there for you when you need it and make your life a whole lot easier.