Opinion: Internet disconnect

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In early March, technology giant Cisco updated its report on, among other things, the use of internet-based video, which has increased to the point that 1 million minutes of content crosses the platform per second. Each minute of our lives, one could consume 1 million hours of video-based information. Considering that a human who manages to achieve the impressive maturity of 85 years has spent a mere 744,600 hours alive, it would be a neat feat to take in even a single “internet” minute. Even more, if that admirable addict managed to constrain sleep to seven hours per day, they could get to slightly more than one-half of the content pumped into the ether. 

Add the countless print articles, voice-only blogs and webpages, then the scope of what a mortal could manage to absorb, even if fully and only dedicated to the web, would be statistically insignificant. To be more direct, it would be impossible. Humans cannot consume it all. Still, we have a justifiable appetite to be informed. It protects us and gives us an advantage in a challenging world. If internet years blow by exponentially faster than dog years, how do we proceed? 

Speed reading? WebsiteHostingRating.com (yes, there is such a thing) contends that “The average attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; this year the average attention span is just 8 seconds. That is less than the nine-second attention span of your average goldfish.” Experts? Among the many millions of experts, we have come to rely on experts to select our experts who were chosen by other experts. Emotion? We could “follow our guts” and feel our way.” Localize? We have the best chance of making sense if we withdraw to our nation, state, town, home, or safe place under the bed. Maybe it’s time to take a walk – without a phone. 


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