The affordances of the world wide web coupled with internet penetration have seen the development of new technologies and platforms for information sharing. Internet access is permeating most facets of our lives whether it be recording and publishing a video for your fitness blog whilst still at the gym, replying to emails on your watch through to preparing your shopping list with your fridge – the nature of our day to day lives is being shaped by the onset of new technologies. We are living in a period where a growing number of the world’s population now have the ability to create a blog, social media profile/account or even purchase a domain and publish content. This technological and social shift has now forced old models of content publishing, that relied heavily on print, to now broaden the publishing outputs to include the digital landscape. With more information than ever before readily available at the fingertips of users, it can create the feeling of an ‘information bottleneck’ as various web pages and advertisements compete for user attention. Building on Bawden and Robinson (2009) notions of ‘information overload’, we see the commercialisation of information now emulating a Times Square like sensory hub whilst navigating the internet. Currently, non-professional journalists are encroaching on mainstream media territory at a time where data, internet traffic and ‘likes’ have become a valuable commodity; the end result? For starters, the average internet ‘surf’ for news is now over waters infested with advanced marketing sharks – hungry for your attention!
Providing a platform to voice ideas, connect with an audience and express the human spirit is the benevolent result of Wed 2.0. Although, when there is a saturation of content creators seeking to monotise their work, the need to attract traffic can potentially create issues with regards to information validity and authority. From an educational perspective, the need to foster 21st Century skills such as critical thinking and information fluency are more important than ever; we must foster the evolution of the human mind! After all, has there been any stage in the history of mankind where the average human has had access to such vast information? Are our brains prepared from an evolutionary perspective to be exposed to so much information and stimulation?
Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: overload, anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180–191. http://jis.sagepub.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/content/35/2/180.full.pdf+html
De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0: new models of information production, distribution and consumption (pp. 13-35). London: Facet.