I have been meaning to write for a couple of weeks, but world events have left me too fragmented. So I thought writing on information overload might be good.
Because of the internet, 24-hour news channels, cell phones, etc. we now have instant access to news the minute it happens. That can be a good thing if it’s something we need to react to right away. However, most of the news isn’t good news. Being constantly barraged by bad news affects us in profound ways. We can become immune to the latest plea for help because of an earthquake, a flood, an uprising, freezing weather, whatever it is. We become fragmented, not knowing what to do or feeling so overwhelmed we do nothing. We become depressed, angry, irritable, and take that out on the first person who says something ‘wrong’.
Some people are ‘newshounds’ and feel totally out of touch if they don’t read several news sources every day. They think that they have to stay on top of what’s happening so they are prepared for… what? What’s the worst that can happen if we don’t read the news every day?
I have to admit I’m as guilty as the next person of reading news every day. I don’t read as much as I used to because it was affecting my life in negative ways. Now I just scan the headlines and read what interests me, which is often something to do with technology or medicine. I like to keep up with that, but I’ve been staying away from the other news that is so depressing and makes me angry; political posturing and rhetoric for example.
How about taking a news holiday? Whatever is going on in the world today isn’t going to change if we don’t read about it. This week’s news will be the same next week, next month, next year, with different players. What can it hurt to not pay attention? It might even make you feel better.