- What to watch
- Which app to use
- Phone to buy
- Tweets to follow and read
- Holidays, flights, hotels
- Choice choice choice
And it's not just individuals who need to become better organised to manage this deluge. Organisations are called this for a reason too.
We assign values to each and every element trying to impinge on our lives. Will it resolve a problem? Will it look good on me? Can I afford it? Will I like the taste? What will people think of me if I use it?... We decide whether something needs to enter our world, or remain on the outside. We do this by applying rules to decide which can enter and which can't - and which we're still considering.
Most of these 'rules' are applied subconsciously according to the values we hold. We just know if we 'like' something or we don't. Whether it satisfies our values or not. If we're not sure, we might try it or ignore it. We apply those values instantly and automatically to everything entering our perspective, and we reassess our values constantly to ensure there's a minimum amount of conflict between what we have and do, and the values we believe we hold about them.
Which means we increasingly need help! When we can't evaluate something, we usually seek value judgements provided by others. Reviews. Likes. Even Google Rankings is an assessment of the world's preference about what we're searching for. There's vast overload of choice and therefore value requirement, and it's only going to get worse.
Movements to help us organise our lives are becoming increasingly popular such as the young sensation Marie Kondo and her "Organise the world" tidying methods. Or the vast number of companies offering data management and AI services to corporations. We all know the internet is awash with data about every one of us - and it's only just started collecting it. It won't be long before personal online organisers or 'agents' will be making decisions on our behalf based on values it learns that we have. The range of things we will be offered in future will be filtered and curated to surprise and hopefully delight us.
Netflix and Amazon already confront us with 'You might like' opportunities based on their experience of us. What if they got together, along with the other FAANGs and countless other places we visit and give up our identity, to work out what we really would like to have and to do? Will we be able to resist or are we bound to become putty in their hands? And will we care if we're 'happy'... and what does that mean?
The growing profusion of data we each create is why I invented TABi, a new type of note book (A4 and A5) where you write a tab for every page so you can quickly organise all your notes to help you find them again. Even your notes need better organising - otherwise, if you still love paper as I do, the only other option for organising them is chronological. Or random, as it's otherwise known.
Is more choice a good thing? Is handing control of it to a machine going to bother us, or will it be essential as choice becomes impossible to control.
Life is becoming increasingly complex. We'd better prepare for it - or just relax and let the machine take over... Then who's the machine?!