In Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut (1997) David Shenk tells of “technostress” researcher Philip Nicholson’s practice of asking his audiences, “Pretend that you were forced to make a choice between giving up one of your fingers and giving up use of your computer for the rest of your life. Which would you choose?” Nicholson reports that one-third of the people surveyed chose to give up a finger.
I am an information junkie. Every work day I receive five to ten e-mails to keep me informed. From www.nytimes.com I receive capsule summaries of the newspaper’s daily front-page news and links to other articles. From www.slate.com comes a summary of the day’s news from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The same e-mail often includes a digest of the leading international press.