Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How often do you put the garbage out?

There is an infinite number of articles to read online. From Look-At-Me blogs to How-To's to useless celebrities and political news. I know many people who read them all, and follow up on TV, too. It's an avalanche of information, non-stop. All types and all levels of quality. And most people absorb all of that, not even thinking or questioning what's behind it all.

Such information overload (in most cases, poorly written information, and never mind the brainwashing and the hidden agendas) results, for many, in "intentional ignorance". That's what happened to me. I came to a point where I shut off. I just decided to stop following the garbage truck like an eager dog. Enough of biased, poorly written, formulaic articles!
Lack of value. All internet articles now seem to be written by the same person – they lack originality, they are all equally sales-y, long, repetitive, treating the readers as if they were dopes. Well, maybe they are! The quality and style of written materials I find online have caused my brain to lock up! And before I realized it, I was following the same seventh-grade writing style. When I found out those characteristics were somehow expected to be in my pieces, too, I lost much of my enthusiasm to write articles. That saddened me! And I decided to sort more diligently what comes in, and toss all garbage out.  Thus, getting back to writing for passion and for igniting people's imagination, for creating a space where my readers and I can think and discuss - and not simply be convinced about prefabricated ideas.
I could list tens of thousands of websites alone just doing this favor of "keeping people informed for their own good". Whose good, again?
No wonder many people feel stuck and can't focus anymore. There is too much to pay attention to, and too much to distract coherent thought! Then come the "experts" saying it's Attention Deficit Disorder. Oh, really? "Take some drugs! Here is the pre$cription!"
Together with the information overload comes the passive social life. There is very little live action when almost everything has become virtual! I notice this especially among certain groups, totally embedded in their devices, news and social media world.
What I see happening is an imbalance between what comes in and what is done with it. I am reminding myself and you, if you will, that we ought to focus our attention on fewer and more enriching things, and do that well. We don't need to know everything that happens in the world. It wouldn't be productive anyway.
An overwhelmed state impairs learning and action. The solution for better focus and concentration is not in the pills, but in the conscious adjustment of our focus. It's a decision: we sort what comes in, keeping and using what's of value. And toss the garbage out!
There is always more coming! Let's just be vigilant.
Rose Taylor

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