Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Information Overload: Enough is Enough

On this day five years ago I purchased my first iPhone and my life changed. As convenient as it is, it has become way too important to me. At first I had no data so that I would not be tempted to use it when I was out of my home but with the offer of so much for data for basically nothing (okay, not true, our bill is not nothing but it was a deal!), I upgraded. I'm on it a lot. I use it to google facts, recipes, podcasts, Netflix, take photos, text and email. I also use it to browse Facebook and Instagram. I'm not sure what your social media feed and favourite Internet sites are telling you but this is what I seem to hear each and every day...

Information overload in the age of social media and digital devices

Eat more vegetarian meals.
Watch this documentary about food.
Then watch this YouTube video disputing it.
Don't eat beans from a can.
Some meat is okay.
Must be organic. And grassfed.
Try Whole 30. Or paleo. Or vegan.
Don't eat bacon.
Eliminate gluten. Or dairy. Or eggs.
Make freezer meals.
Use essential oils. For everything.
Wear sunscreen.
No, not that sunscreen.
Read with your kids every night.
No screen time before bed.
Monitor everything your kids do online.
Do what you have to do to make it through the day.
Your kids are only little once so make it count.
Have unstructured playtime.
Wait, did you sign them up for swimming–that's a safety concern.
Make this craft. Plan this party. Decorate their room.
Keep your house clutter-free.
Don't let chores consume you.
Always do your dishes. With this product.
Leave the dishes, play with your kids.
Don't miss this deal. Or that one. Or the one tomorrow.
Watch this Live video.
Listen to this podcast.
Check out this YouTube video.
See my Instagram stories.
You need a capsule wardrobe.
And this new bra.
And does it spark joy?
Don't worry about the scale.
Join crossfit. Or bootcamp.
Get your 10,000 steps.
Drink this smoothie.

And then there are the never-ending texts and emails...

Can you come to this party?
Can you come to this event?
Can you host?
Can you drive?
Can you volunteer?
Can you coach?
Did you pay for that class? Book? Uniform? Field trip?
Did you sign up for that class? Meeting time?
It's time for your next dental visit. Or doctor. Or ortho. Or physio.
Your library book is ready. Your other book is overdue.

How are our children going to navigate this? What guidelines can we teach them?

Information overload. My parents read the newspaper in the morning and then went about their entire day free of almost everyone's input until 6 PM when they watched the news for half an hour. They would turn towards one another to talk about the top stories. The whole day, the only people speaking into their lives were the ones they talked to in person or on the phone. They would check the answering machine when they arrived home and respond to the one or two phone calls that they had. Two responses required. Exhale. Ah. Lovely. If our home phone (aka only phone) rang during dinnertime we would let it go to the answering machine. I love the Internet but it has become so overwhelming. I am tempted to get off of social media but over-riding it at this point is a desire to promote things like an understanding of being a foster parent, a love for sharing our family adventures and travel with family and friends, and the opportunity to connect with others who can provide great insight and support. I love being able to stay connected to friends from the past and present. Besides, where else will I get opinions on things like backsplashes and paint colours for our front door?

Using it less is definitely my goal.

I really hope that this place, Talk Nerdy to Me, provides ideas but never makes you feel overwhelmed. Or stressed. Here's me telling you to that beans from a can are probably okay although we did just buy 1/4 of a cow's worth of organic meat...

Are you overwhelmed or are you good about setting limits for yourself? I'd love to hear what you do.


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Information overload in the age of social media

1 comment:

  1. I find it very overwhelming as well. Your list cracked me up because it's so true!