Found a fascinating Seattle Times magazine article from last November 28. "Life Interrupted" wonders about the "cognitive overload" of our highly efficient connected age.
"Technology helps connect us to friends and, on occasion, soul mates. It prevents phone tag. It sorts and recalls massive amounts of information, simplifies writing, and even aids those who want to mellow out by working from the boonies," writes Richard Seven.
"Yet, some who study this modern phenomenon say the speed and ubiquity cause problems for those who are either psychologically ill-equipped or ill-trained to face dogged expectations that come with the package."
Much of the material from the article was apparently gathered at a 2004 University of Washington conference, "Information, Silence, and Sanctuary," which posed the following:
Too much information and too little time to digest it. Attention pulled in a thousand directions, and by the very technologies – cell phones and handhelds, email and the Web, cable TV and satellite radio – that promise to inform and connect us. An accelerating pace of life leaving no time to relax or reflect. These are some of today’s common complaints in our information-rich, technology-infused society. Increasingly, people express a longing for a more harmonious life, a life better balanced between work, family, and community; between fast-paced productivity and leisurely reflection; between compulsive consumption and just plain living.
Why is life speeding up and what can we do about it? How can we find a more balanced life in the midst of these changes?
Many of the presentations were recorded and are available for streaming.