Internal and External Motivations15 May 2017
I want to think about information flow this morning and how it affects our motivations.
We have plenty of feeds that push information to us, but not enough sandboxes to reflect. Notifications, emails, social feeds are always producing, and they serve as variable rates of reward systems.
We also have a limited amount of time to consume this infinite amount of information, so how do we select what is interesting to us? We rely on publications and friendly recommendations to point them out to us.
The downside of relying on the push of our feeds for information is that it overemphasizes a variable rate of rewards. They represent external sources of motivation.
The information we find in our feeds have evolved to be engaging for the short term. They only have an awareness of immediate views and comments, but know nothing of longevity and impact.
Is there a way to identify the information that is meaningful to us? If we have the concept of nutritional value for food we consume, is there a similar sift for the media, entertainment, and information we consume?
Which sources of information make you feel better in the long term after you consume it? Which sources emphasize variable rate rewards the most? How do we carve out space for internal motivation when the world has a constant stream of information from everyone else?
The irony is that in the process of exploring and capturing my own thoughts, I’m also adding to the feeds and pool of information. Creating content in itself has a separate set of rewards.
What is a healthy ratio of push/pull of information? The difference between, I am interested in X, so I’ll seek it out, versus scrolling through feeds, coming across a rabbit hole, then following the trail for too long.