Information Overload

As a denizen of modern society I suppose all the information I receive is meant to empower me – however most times I am simply numbed by it. At the office, armed with my wireless head set, I am battered from all sides with time consuming emails, unnecessary phone calls, Post-its, and a generic PC that dies at regular intervals regardless which year OS is loaded. What’s a poor slob to do?

I have long ago given up on the Information Age hype that having the latest electronic gadget is next to godliness or that the new DSL connection will bring me the Nirvana I crave. Did you know that an average daily newspaper carries more information than a contemporary of Shakespeare’s would acquire in a lifetime? Am I better off then he?

Willie’s friend, when not struggling on the farm or shoeing horses, would spend his time at the local tavern quaffing a tankard of ale or perhaps romancing the young lass with the abundant bosom. Me, I answer a fax with “urgent” slashed across the top even as the ink is still wet, then, after three days, I follow up with letter when he doesn’t respond. Protect yourself and cover your ass – no one else will. Ooops, cell phone! Is that yours or mine?

I wonder, after reading all those %*&$@) emails, why I get home late (that’s Kevin Smith speak for those of you who didn’t guess). Kevin and I are soul mates. I sincerely believe he knows what I go through at work by the way he articulates the dialogue he gives the characters in his films. Pardon me while I check my Palm hand-held.

Both at work and away I seem to be rotating the Information Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms. I’m depressed most of the time and constantly feel anxiety. I suffer from insomnia and the inability to focus because of my headaches. My doctor told me I have high blood pressure and to try to overcome my social withdrawal.

Perhaps I’m a workaholic or information junkie. Last year I answered my cell phone while in my regular session with my shrink. It was my broker advising me to buy Nortel. Did I mention I took his advice and bought it big time? That was in August 2OOO. Another question for you. Which falls faster a 2″ diameter stone or a 5″ diameter rock? Doesn’t matter if they both have Nortel stamped on them.

One more question. I promise this is the last – and I’ll throw in the answer at no charge. What is Wall Street? Answer: Las Vegas on the Hudson.

Ralph J. Luciani

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