We have access to more technology than ever before. Why does it seem that we are busier than ever before also? Isn’t technologies job to make things easier for us so that we can spend time on the things that really matter? The opposite seems true. We spend a lot of time filtering emails, updating our Facebook/twitters/social media sites, surfing the web, etc. We are constantly bombarded with information. Personally, I don’t believe the human brain is designed to hold the kind of information we are exposed to. We are like a hard drive. We are simply not created to see hundreds of advertisements, remember hundreds of dates and numbers, pictures, books, etc. It is somewhat of a love/hate relationship. I really enjoy LEARNING. Things like discovery channel, history channel, interesting books, politics, economics, etc. But just the sheer VOLUME that we are exposed to sometimes feels a little overwhelming doesn’t it? So how do we fix this? Well, the basic answer is to UNPLUG every once in a while. I am new with this topic but these are a few suggestions that can dramatically limit information overload.
MUTE COMMERCIALS: This is a tip I picked up from Mom. This includes television, radio, and internet. Do we really need to see all of these commercials and ads? How many songs from companies can you hum on cue? How many logos do you recognize? Just by muting or doing something else while these ads are playing we can avoid massive amounts of mindless programming. If I want to buy a flat-screen TV, I know where to look. I do not need to watch 100 different ads on television to figure that out.
READING: Fiction books don’t seem to be a problem so much. These are stories. We are not actively attempting to retain the details here but more focus on the experience and story. With non-fiction or reference books, most of us are trying to learn things. Learn what the best diet plan is. Learn how to do better with finances or business. Learn about relationships. Unfortunately there are millions of books out there all with different views on things. This becomes exhausting after a while. So what do we do? Personally, I have found that by focusing on “OLD” books, we can learn the best. This includes the basics. Old books on health, business, relationships. The basics never change no matter how much we spin new age and technological jargon into them.
SET TIME: This could be as short as an hour. Preferably something like a day every week. Just see what happens to your stress levels by letting yourself unplug. It is almost as if we have begun to see checking all of this stuff as another responsibility. I NEED to get up to date stats on sports. I NEED to update everyone on my plans on Facebook. Do we really need to do all of this daily? I mean sure it is good to let people know what is happening in your life; but DAILY? I just have a feeling that this was not going on a long time ago.
So those are some basics. Ultimately, it boils down to reclaiming your own time and space back. Advertisers, marketers, and business people have claimed our time, our attention spans, even part of our lives. So what are we going to do about it? Well I say we start unplugging a bit. The information age is here to stay. However, the way it currently works is not a healthy way to live life. We should be CHOOSING what information we access instead of being CHOSEN to receive it. As we all grow into the global economy and world population; the risks of being manipulated by big business increases. There are very smart people out there that know how and are VERY GOOD at keeping our attentions and time focused on where they want it. Let’s take that power back. Ultimately, we are in responsible for our own lives. UNPLUG.