Thursday, October 22, 2015

Unformation




For a few brief moments this week, I thought I had actually created a new word. I was proud of the fact that my new word even made sense. So much so that I am now writing an entire post about it. Considering I can write an entire post without a topic, maybe that's still not saying much. The word I thought I had created was "unformation." I was writing a sentence something like: "After wading through the mass of unformation.... " In this particular case, I had obviously intended to write "information," but the misspelling seemed to fit my intent more accurately.

The shear magnitude of the information at our fingertips is so daunting that it really is almost uninformative....or, "unformation." A simple Google search, no matter how well the algorithms are working, seem to provide too much information. You almost don't know where to start. Typing in "unformation," for example, brings back 279,000 results. That's pretty good considering how many results I usually get, but still way too many. Yeah, I know, they're ranked to put the most useful links at the top and I could get better results with a longer search query, but that would ruin my rant.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is so much information, it's almost worthless. You just stare at the pages of info and glaze over while wondering where to begin. There is astounding information ready at our fingertips at a moment's notice, but learning how to navigate it is an ever changing and ever learning activity we all get to keep up with. (If you think it's fun looking up a recipe or finding a local restaurant, you should try managing website SEO or keeping your Facebook page ahead of the changing algorithms.)

Sometimes I sit back, close my eyes, and think about the olden days when nobody had a cell phone, the internet didn't exist and you had to use a phonebook, map and/or encyclopedia to find anything. It was definitely a more laid back and relaxing time, but would I go back to it? Don't get me wrong. I love being able to access anything I want in less than a minute via my the browser or an app on my phone. I am curious though how much of it is rarely, if ever, accessed anymore. Will people still be reading average jester posts from 2014 ten years from now? Honestly, I wonder if anyone will be reading them one year from now, but that's beside the point.

Speaking of average jester.... According to my little post ticker, I am four posts away from 100 with this post. That means, by the time you read this, there are 96 average jester posts floating around the world wide web. Technically, I guess there are a few more than that. I've deleted a number of them over the past few months because, let's be honest here, not every one was all that great. If I personally have that much floating around out there, it makes me wonder how much is out there in total. (OK, I cheated and Googled it) As I'm writing this, there we are just shy of 945 million websites on the internet. Websites...not pages. Wow. I should probably let you go at this point because it looks like we're both going to need a lot of free time to start working our way through all those websites. Until next time....