We’ve seen a staggering increase in the amount of data being shared and created on the internet. This phenomenon has even been described as a ‘Sharepocalypse’ or massive information overload. This is the result of millions of pieces of content being shared billions of times per month, which has led many to speculate on whether there is a ‘choice overload’, such as Sheena Iyengar has described in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2000. But I don’t see this as being the major problem that we are facing today, rather the main focal point of this post will skim over the points of the dissemination of information and rather look at the information itself, namely whether the information being shared is of pertinent, or a qualitative nature or rather of a more temporal, quantitative nature- that of information being shared for sharing’s sake.
I can pre-empt this discourse by describing my own experiences with this medium. My first venture into the realms of the internet being in 1996 on the then popular Lycos Angelfire, and my first website; a gaming fan page that shared cheats to Gameboy games. Although I didn’t create the cheats or the images hosted on the website, I still an urge to share the information with others and as a result, find personal satisfaction in my endeavours. The second stage of my experience on the internet can be summed up nearly a decade later, when I created a Livejournal in which I would post bi-weekly, grandiose journal entries about my recent activities, thus making the transition from content sharer to content creator. This was the beginning of a cyclical relationship that I still find myself caught up in today, that of sharing and creating.