When you’re searching for the satisfaction of enough, consumerism isn’t the only thing that you’ll need to learn to manage and control. Increasingly, consumption of information is just as overwhelming as the consumption of goods. Recently, we saw an article that had a graphic that claimed that all of the information created in the past two years equals the amount of recorded information for all of human history. That may or may not be true, but the one thing we know for sure is that there’s astronomically more information out there, bombarding us from more directions than ever before. To make matters worse, humans have yet to turn into high level data-processing cyborgs (at least to date), so the mass avalanche of information in the world can only leave us two options: ignore it or be overwhelmed by it.
Information Channels: All Around Us. All of the Time.
A long, long time ago, people only received information through interpersonal communications. Then the printing press was invented and, we can all agree, the world changed. Then, of course, came radio and television followed by the internet. Today, people not only balance all of these information channels, but they balance them in extreme quantities. Television isn’t five channels, it’s five hundred. The internet isn’t just a place that you get information when you’re at your desk, it’s with you wherever you go via your phone or mobile device. Bars and restaurants have, often, dozens of televisions on at any one time while people simultaneously absorb information through their wireless devices. To support all of these channels, content generation is rapid (and often low in quality). That, of course, doesn’t mean that we don’t pay attention to it.
What All That Information Leads To
For anybody, what all that information leads to is one thing: stress. There’s no capacity for the brain to process all of the information that it’s receiving daily in a meaningful way. The “sleep enhancement” industry has recently grown to a billion-plus dollar industry and Americans are more sleep deprived than ever before. While there are many stresses and lifestyle choices contributing to the sleep deprivation, the brain’s inability to shut down when it’s overburdened with information is a key one. Confusion over facts, choices and life are all increased by information overload.
What Can You Do?
What can you do to help create some space between you and the information overload? Here are some tips, and we know you won’t tune out information from Postconsumers.com – you need us more than ever!
– Minimize the use of internet on your phone. Many individuals are disconnecting the automatic push feature for new emails on their phones. Think about whether you need to have the internet with you at all times or not!
– Unwire from social media. Set time limits for yourself with social media use. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of checking into social media all day every day, but realistically a single daily check-in of your social media outlets is more than enough.
– Don’t leave the television or radio on “in the background.” You may think that you’re not paying attention to background noise, but your brain is.
– Practice quiet! These days, we’re not very used to just experiencing quiet. You may need to train yourself to be comfortable in the quiet. Start with just five minute time frames. You may even want to consider incorporating yoga!
Have another idea on how to tune out information overload? Comment below or like us on Facebook and tell us about it!
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: dnwallace