Are we addicted to information?

W4QF3HJTPVI’m sick and tired of shallow news stories blaring at me to get my attention. They want to suck me in, get me riled up, play with my emotions, pass on my cookies to advertisers, and make me desperate to hear the latest misadventure.

Consuming the news is emotionally exhausting, and really doesn’t tell me very much about the real issues. Often, the news stories are full of those who are eager to emote their first reactions for all to hear, and these are played over and over again—just with different lips speaking into the microphones. The high emotional content and lack of substance is overwhelming.

The following paragraph from a Farnam Street blog: Why You Should Stop Reading News caught my attention.

“Being well informed isn’t regurgitating the opinion of some twenty-two-year-old with no life experience telling me what to think or how outraged to be. Your first thought on something is usually not yours but someone else’s. When all you do is consume, you are not only letting someone else hijack and direct your attention; you are also letting them think for you.”

Do I want to know something about everything? Can I—with my limited time, knowledge, and thought capacity—think deeply, care about, or understand all the issues that are thrown at me every day? Can you? Do you really want to?

My time is limited and valuable. I would rather choose to focus deeply on something than have a cursory, emotional reaction to a plethora of stories that will be irrelevant tomorrow. I would rather choose my thoughts, dig deeper into issues of interest or need, and greet the people around me as neighbors.

I don’t think of it as “uninformed.” Rather, I prefer to go deeper and try to block the hype. I prefer too look around me and engage in conversations with people face-to-face. And I’m hoping to have a few minutes of “boredom” where I can just sit and think.

 

 

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