Consume information that is nutritious–useful and true, ie, close to the source or intelligently processed. Consume it in digestible amounts. And consume it in the right mix. Pay attention–your spending has an opportunity cost. Do not binge. Avoid snacking.
Overconsuming information—watching too much, surfing too much, emailing too much, and even reading too much—is unhealthy. Since information is usually consumed while sitting, its physical side-effects can include obesity, hypertension, sedentary death syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. Since information–and especially new information consumed in an obsessive-compulsive way–alters the chemical balance in the brain, its psychological side-effects can include a distorted sense of time, shallow social relationships, “reality dysmorphia“, and screen addiction. And since information creates and reinforces beliefs, the social side-effects of consuming low-quality or homogeneous (or insufficient) information may include agnotology, epistemic closure, and “democratic failure” [Johnson].
References and further reading:
Nicholas Carr. 2011. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. Norton
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 1990. Flow. The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper
Winifred Gallagher. 2010. Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. Penguin
William James. 1890. The Principles of Psychology.
Clay A. Johnson. 2012. The Information Diet. O’Reilly
Eli Pariser. 2011. The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think. Penguin
Maggie Jackson. 2008. Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. Prometheus
Matthew Zadrozny. 2011-12-23. The Information Diet