Throughout history, information has been scarce – and important to staying alive. So we try to accumulate and learn as much as possible. Now what used to be a survival technique is now keeping us glued to our monitors. From the WSJ article Why We’re Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data:
new and richly interpretable information triggers a
chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to
seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid
not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.
It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr.
Biederman. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we
are junkies for those. You might call us ‘infovores.’ "
He compares it to food. We are programmed to eat lots so that we don’t starve. Even though food is abundant now, we still eat lots. Even though information is abundant now, we still want more and more!