Information is like water

I thought of this just now as I took a break from my computer to grab a drink.

A ton of information flows through me each day. Even if I didn’t get online, I see advertisement all over the place. But guess what – I’m online, reading and interacting all day (actually mostly at night), which means my information flow is upped by at least a power of 10 perhaps more.

At the same time, the information goes right back out of me. I won’t remember a tenth of the info I consume. That’s where the comparison comes in.

Water is the same way. I drink water all day. [Full disclosure: actually I’m very dehydrated right now.] Does the water stay in me? Do I turn into this big, bloated, water man?

Of course not. The water flows back out. Yeah, I use the restroom.

Information is the same way. Like water, it flows back out. It should. It has to. We need both water and info. But you and I have to remember that it’s not all going to stay with us.

And here I’m not talking about giving away information. I’m talking about forgetting it. Forgetting is okay. That flow has to keep flowing though.

With info, it’s easy to think that if I’m not going to remember it next year or even tomorrow, then it doesn’t make sense to consume it now. But when we think about it like water, it makes all the sense in the world. We need info, like we need water, for the resources it supplies in the moment, even if it doesn’t last.