The Age of Digital Information Overload and Long Inaction

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We have entered an age where we are overrun with knowledge. However, what are we doing with all the information we have? Do we need to stop excessively consuming digital data? These are some questions that were raised and addressed by the founder of Missing Link, Richard Mulholland. Mulholland regularly delivers talks on subjects such as remote work, public speaking, and presentations.

Missing Link helps people deliver their presentations, whether virtual or physical, in an engaging and interactive way. To people who want to make an impact with their presentations, Mulholland says, “You write a good talk before you design it before you deliver it.”

Richard Mulholland
Image: Richard Mulholland

With this conviction, Mulholland delivered a TED talk in 2020 about the profound effects of too much knowledge that people have now and the need to act upon what we know. The talk heavily pressed upon the continued state of inaction in many gory situations such as the holocaust, and apartheid has led us to a non-unified present.

One of the major concerns that humanity now is facing is over-consumption and waste. The production of thermoplastic waste per annum is predicted to be close to 600 million metric tons by 2050. The continued “inaction” or time-consuming actions have put the health of the oceans and the ocean fauna in jeopardy.

Plastic waste
Image: Statista

Overconsumption of data

Undoubtedly, there is a large amount of digital data that is added and consumed every day. Mulholland also explained that we are consuming data as though it were fast food, saying that “it’s not so much the consumption; we’re overvaluing consumption and under-valuing action.” Just like fats and sugars, our brain also thrives on information. Mulholland calls to start acting on the information we have because “denial is not a defense strategy.”.

Let’s take a look at the following tweet and analyze it. It is of course a sarcastic remark about where society is headed. And Mulholland’s talk rightly points out that we may have to take a step back and not get consumed by everything that’s around us. Else, as we can see, the person is headed for a dreadful accident.

https://twitter.com/adamsconsulting/status/1539511789955727360?s=20&t=j2uoipD8DDm_q08VVLPenQ

Claiming self-care hours

Mulholland also touches on the time-based currency concept in economics, where money is valued against the human hours spent on tasks. The concept has been around since the early 19th century, giving way to the wage law or wage system. Based on this concept, Mulholland points out that we need to actively participate in investing time in some self-care.

Mulholland quoted late American philosopher Henry David Thoreau and said “I wanna give you a new currency to…spend for the rest of your life and it’s this — life hours.” This statement really opens up your mind to think about how valuable life is and the importance of protecting it from getting wasted away.

Richard Mulholland
Image: Richard Mulholland

With that realization comes the responsibility of making it right for each one of us. We now have enough tools, data, and knowledge to heal the world and make this earth a better place.


YouTube: A Catastrophe of Inaction | Richard Mulholland | TEDxPretoria

Photo credits: The infographic has been done by Statista. All other images are owned by Richard Mulholland and have been provided for press usage.
Source: Statista

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Ujala Chowdhry
Ujala Chowdhry
Hello, I'm a tech journalist at TechAcute. I did my bachelors in computer science engineering and masters in journalism. I have been able to view many facets of technology here and continue to learn more. I love covering global tech solutions and being socially available on Twitter.
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