Information Overload

I published this and then I made it private because I thought it was dumb; however, I’ve been seeing a bit of a trend in this topic on (ironically) some of the sites I follow, so I’m publishing it again. It’s been somewhat edited, including the title. Hopefully, I’ll like this version better. Incidentally, one of the things others have mentioned was meditation and quiet time, which has been coming up a lot for me and is something I don’t do nearly enough. Do I sense a possible solution in the works? We’ll see.

First off, thanks for your patience with that last posting. I wanted to know if those who receive e-mail updates would get the whole post automatically if I password protected it. Thanks to those of you who e-mailed to ask what was up, because I think you answered my question!

I have been thinking about me and the internet. The blogs I follow, the tweets I see, the information that comes to me through this medium. I wonder if it is too much sometimes. If some of my “knowing too much” problem comes from what I am allowing in, without even realizing it’s happening.

What’s funny is that I am pretty choosy about what I look at on the internet. I have a hard time not reading what is in front of me (actually, it’s pretty near impossible. Lots of hand-flapping and the visual equivalent of “la-la-la I can’t hear you!” happens when I try) and once I have read/seen something, I have a very hard time un-reading/seeing it. For this reason, I don’t follow media websites, I don’t follow people who radiate drama or negativity, if I start reading a site and realize it doesn’t resonate with me, I stop and delete it from my saved pages. I rarely read comments on other sites. However, I do read the personal stories/blogs of some very good people and I find, like most people who read the stories of strangers, that I get caught up in them. I love the ordinary things they write about. I enjoy finding commonalities. Usually, I tend to follow pretty evenly-keeled people, so I find it a positive experience, one I can even learn from. I rejoice in their happiness and I feel for them in times of sadness. I worry for them when things are rough. And sometimes, when they have a crisis, I think, “That’s a thing? Like that can actually happen? Could that happen to me?” It’s silly, I know, because it is rare and random, but hard when there seems to be a number of people (albeit, still rare and random when the whole of the population is considered) who chime in with “OMG, me too!” I know I shouldn’t take it on and yet I have a hard time shaking it off sometimes.

Ironically, I can’t stand soap operas. Or most shows on TV. I think I drive my family a bit bonkers, because I actually find it a bit difficult to be within earshot of the news or the plethora of police-based dramas, or other dramas where people seem to be out to get each other every week (what is with these shows?). I used to think that this was so different and I was so above all that, but I’ve since realized that I’m the same. It is only my chosen media that is different.

But, my brain is full. With my job being the way it is and having family and friends that I care deeply about, I am already caught up in the daily dealings of many people’s lives (this is before checking Facebook, even), and while it is certainly not up to me how their lives work out and how they get on with things, I spend my days listening to a lot of stuff. Some days, I just can’t listen to any more. I can’t watch the news at night; sometimes people get the short shrift if they want to tell me about their friend’s cousin’s aunt who has something truly horrible happen to her and they can’t wait to tell me. I swear, people seem to seek me out for this sort of stuff and I would like them to stop it already; but I also wonder, if I weren’t contributing to some of this bombardment, would I have more patience?

I don’t know where this line of thinking is going. I will fully admit that I really like the internet and I don’t think it’s practical in this day and age to give it up entirely, but I wonder if there is further culling I can do. Maybe limit some things to “real life” friends only. Really, I don’t have access to any non-professional sites at all at work, so I have a mini-internet-break every day. I don’t plan on quitting this anytime soon, even though it looks like every post might just be the last. I wonder if there are other ways to halt the overload. I wonder if I can turn myself into one of those people who things roll off. I wonder if there is a way for me to be able to listen, yet be separate at the same time. I hope so. This didn’t used to be so hard. Maybe people have quotas? Who knows.

Anyway, just thinking out loud. I’m working on it.

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