The flow of information is so huge that we can hardly adequately process it. But this is the half of trouble. The most interesting thing is that from this stream we are distinguished by what we already know or what confirms our beliefs.

“Well, so I thought!” – he concludes (a) and dives back to the Internet. A familiar picture? Houring for hours on the forums, young parents or abandoned lovers find more and more arguments in favor of the vaccinations are useful (harmful), and all men (women) – scum – scum. Other points of view are easily filtered: when there is too much information, something needs to be discarded, otherwise not to withstand. Our cognitive system is inclined to seek confirmation of the already put forward hypotheses, instead of subjecting them to critical verification. Suppose a friend convinces you that full people are more emotional than thin. Which of your friends you will remember the first thing?

I take it to argue that some funny girlfriend with magnificent forms, and not at all a nervous skinny neighbor. And it happens that we interpret the same facts in support of opposite points of view. Once American psychologist Eldar Shafir conducted a very remarkable experiment. Participants were introduced to the circumstances of the divorce of the couple, and they had to decide which of the parents would remain with. The first parent in all respects was quite suitable for this. It was known about the second that he had a wonderful relationship with the child, but at the same time he has to go on business trips for

a long time. When the participants were asked who should give the child, the majority indicated the second parent: after all, it was his relationship with the child. When it was necessary to decide who to refuse, everyone again indicated the second parent: he would have to leave the child alone for a long time. The mind creates an information “trap” for itself and it gets into it.

The more information, the more difficult it is to navigate in it. You can not have a TV at home (like me, for example), but without the Internet nowadays. Search systems, news feeds, social networks, forums and much more burst into our personal space. In addition, evolution gave a person the desire to share information that is not inherent in animals (every resident of the blogosphere came across dozens of transformations of any important news in his “tape”)*. What to do? As the expert on digital technologies notes, the author of the idea of the “information diet” Clay Johnson (Clay Johnson), we are not able to limit the information flow, but can decide that we will choose from it **. And the first small step that can be taken here is to prefer the information that complements or expands our ideas about ourselves and about the surrounding reality, and not just confirms what we are already convinced of.

* Read more see.: M. Thomasello “The origins of human communication” (Languages of Slavic cultures, 2011).

** C. Johnson “The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption” (O’Really Media, 2012).