Why We Surf

Fascinating bit of reporting by Lee Gomes over at the WSJ:

Why We’re Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data

He nails the answer to a question I have never really considered – but often been subject to – what is it about browsing the web that is so d*mn addicting.

“In other words, coming across what Dr. Biederman calls 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.’”

We’re programmed for scarcity of information – and when there is no limit to how much information we can get – except hours in the day and work and families – well you know the rest.

TO’B

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One Response to Why We Surf

  1. I used to spend hours at the library growing up. Maybe I was looking for the same kind of effect?

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