Informational Feast or Famine

Written by srarden on December 14, 2013

Feast or famine is a problem when it comes to information.  Rarely do we have a perfect flow of just enough, just the right, or any other ‘just…’ set of information.


Today my parents were in town and my Mom (hi Mom!  Love you!) has a new Windows 8 laptop which she says has a touch screen.  She somehow turned if off, and wasn’t sure how to turn it back on.  Being a bit of a geek, I wanted to play around with the touch screen and see if I thought it really added anything to the laptop experience.

So, I start looking around for buttons, function keys, settings in the software — and couldn’t find anything.  Ah well, I’ll look for it on Google (God Bless Google!).

After about a half hour of searching, I couldn’t even determine whether it HAD a touch screen, let alone how to turn it on. Famine.


Contrast that with my typical stream of email, RSS feeds, and tweets each day.  I try and stay aware of new things and changes in the web & mobile industry even if I don’t completely delve into them, and it is impossible to keep up.

Well, maybe not impossible.  It’s like the story my Dad (hi Dad!  Love you!) told of a man who went nuts and started shooting at people from his house one day.  When the danger was over the police entered his house to find several dozen birds and other assorted animals. All nicely kept, well tended.  They figured it would take about 6 hours a day to clean cages, feed them, etc. to keep them as well maintained as they were.

Yes, you could do it.  But you wouldn’t have any time for anything else in your life, and it would drive you nuts in the process.  Feast.


The famine scenario is a bit hard to handle.  In my example above, I’m sure if I had kept digging into it I would have found an answer eventually – but my mom is happy with no touch screen, and my parents were only here for a limited time.  Would I rather spend it frantically googling, or spend the time with them?

The feast scenario is a bit easier, though equally frustrating to me.  You simply have to censor your streams of information.  Cut down on who sends you emails, what RSS feeds you keep up with, who you follow on twitter.  But what if you miss out on something?  You are going to anyway.

I would rather have to deal with feast than famine, but they both can drive you a little batty if you don’t handle them well.

To which everyone who knows me is screaming at their screens that I was a bit batty to begin with.


Posted Under: Catch-All

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