Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Turn Off the Faucet of Information

Imagine yourself standing under the opening of a huge faucet.  Water is cascading over your head, down your face, drenching your clothes.  Around you the water is beginning to rise slowly until it is dangerously high to the point where it is threatening your ability to breathe.  You are about to drown...unless you move away from the cascading water.

This is what we face in this information age, where countless images, messages,voices, and sounds are thrust towards us.  Television commercials, radio commercials, internet advertisements, billboards, tweets, text messages, and other video, audio and visual communications designed to influence and "inform" us.  At times we get to the point where we are becoming overwhelmed with information.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  The number of people or organizations we follow often results in a cascade of "posts", "tweets", and other information tidbits that constantly has us clicking buttons to view what is sent to us.

At times the information flow can be semi controlling.  We find ourselves responding mentally and emotionally to all the messages.  The messages control what we think and when we think it.  Sometimes we recognize this and we take action.  We choose to not watch television.  We choose to not listen to specific radio or television shows.  We "unfriend" people on Facebook, or stop following people on Twitter.  We choose to click away from being connected to these nuisance audio and visual mediums.  It's all about making choices and exercising the power to not do something.  Exercising the power to take control of our "information lives".

It is that power that we sometimes don't recognize.  The power to ignore what others attempt to thrust at you as if you do not have a choice.  Well, you do have a choice and it's time you started exercising it.  Think for yourself.  Decide for yourself what information you want to know and what information you believe.  Ask yourself what is the goal of the information that is being thrust at you?  Is someone attempting to get you to believe something, buy something, join a group?  Is someone attempting to get you to think about an issue and make your own decision?  Is someone attempting to share, make you laugh, get you to care about an issue?  Or is someone just passionate about an issue that they have to post or send information out on a certain topic?

So as the open information faucet cascades over your head do the following.  Open above your head your "umbrella of decision" and deflect the information water flow to the sides so it doesn't drench and drown you.  Then climb above the faucet and turn the knob to decrease the information flow to the level you are comfortable with.  If you desire a trickle of water, turn the knob to only allow a trickle of water flowing out of the information faucet.  Take control of your faucet.  Take control of your life.  Don't read your Facebook posts for a few days.  Unfollow people on Twitter whose information isn't helping you to become the best person YOU can be.

Replace the overflow of information with your own thoughts and concerns.  Then take action on those things YOU care about.

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