TMI

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I apologize for my last post. I have diagnosed myself with information overload, and it took me a while to figure that out.

It’s a very interesting thing that happens when we ingest new information. There’s pleasure that occurs. Not immense amounts, mind you, but we all feel good when we learn or see a new thing. If it’s something small, like hearing a new song, the pleasure is small, too. But we humans have found a way to increase that small pleasure by ingesting ALL THE THINGS on social media. Every day my friend’s feed is filled to the brim with recipes, quotes, news links from around the globe, comics, pictures of baby animals, or babies, or babies with baby animals… the list, she goes on.

And it feels good to look at it all. Or, at least most of it. There’s always bitter with the sweet. Harold Ramis dying, for example, or stories about mutated sea creatures from the Fukushima meltdown. There are outcries about the political stupidities in Arizona or the racial discrimination in Florida. It’s all there, ready for mass consumption.

The trouble is, when you’re constantly ingesting, you really get no time to digest. Information all on it’s own is great, and it should be free. However, humans, just like computers, have a limited amount of RAM to dedicate to all this stuff. Sure, we’ll forget The Beef Seeds after a few weeks, but our brain will have an impression from wondering what a fox does say. It will last beyond the initial listening, and the seeming ‘forgetting’ that we do. How do I know this? Does anyone remember the Hamster Dance?

I have been grounding myself from the computer. I have been trying, at any rate. My full time job demands I be in front of a computer, and my part-time work as a writer sits me in front of the computer as well. It’s almost impossible to ignore the urge to see how many likes are on my author page or if anyone’s posted a new funny thing.

Without a doubt, I seem to process thoughts better if I leave them on the burner for a while. If I think deeply on a topic, rather than shallowly about a lot of things. Obviously some of our thoughts have to be shallow, or we’d never get on with our day. However, I think our society is on a dangerous vector to avoid thinking deeply about a topic because it’s unpleasant or hard, and then becoming a society that no longer knows how to think as a whole.

Deep thoughts are where the change comes from.

 

 

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