Marshall McLuhan once noted that in an age of “electric information” — he was speaking in 1967 — it was easy to live in a state of information overload. “There’s always more than you can cope with.”
These days, according to 2008 data in the latest issue of the International Journal of Communication, the average American consumes 11.8 hours of media information each day. Authors Roger Bohn and James Short suggest these hours equate to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes of data: in one day!
So perhaps there’s no time like the present to dial back the information overload.
Visualizing information can help clarify complicated or data-heavy concepts. Digestible graphics deliver at-a-glance comprehension and can reveal compelling and important connections and relationships. Sometimes, of course, they’re just fun to look at.
Data and statistics offer necessary context to the stories of the day, but they seldom make headlines because numbers scare people.
So that’s where I’ll come in. I will do the math and crunch the numbers, then I’ll illustrate my findings in a way that will adds a new layer of understanding to the stories of the day. Join me each Friday on Macleans.ca for a visual exploration of the numbers behind the news.
Friday, September 28, 2012