Who would have thought managing our personal technology would become so important?
The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. IBM estimates the entire body of human knowledge is now doubling every 13 months. We are exposed to more information in a day than our Grandparents were in a year. Yet our brain’s capacity to absorb information is still stuck where it’s always been, about 5 bits per second.
In order to keep up with this ever increasing information dump, we have invented more and more technology tools to “manage” the data.
What’s being gathered?
Now we have “smart homes.” Google’s Alexa, or Apple’s Home Kit, will respond to voice commands. It controls the lights, heat, windows, doors, and outside security cameras.
The internet of things is burying sensors in almost everything we use and is gathering data on how we use those items. There are programs enabling cows to tell farmers it’s milking time.
Then there’s the exercise tracker Fitbit. With Fitbit you can automatically track:
- How many steps you walked.
- How much sleep you got.
- Your resting heart rate.
- How many calories you burned.
- You can manually enter what you ate and how many calories were in it.
This is great information you can use to help manage your health. Guess what, Fitbit not only tracks how many steps you took but also your physical location every minute of every day? What happens to that data? How is it used? Who has access to it? I recently read of a court case where a man accused of a crime claimed to have an alibi, but his Fitbit data put him at the crime scene at the time the crime was committed.
My point here is simple. There is no way we can manage all the personal data that’s out there. It’s simply a matter of time. There are 1440 minutes in a day. How will you spend them? We are all now forced to make the following decisions:
- What data do we need to know?
- What tools will we use to track it?
- How much time will it take to evaluate it?
That’s it. Figure out what is vital for you to know and ignore the rest. It’s the only path to sanity.
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