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Too Much (Internet) Information? - 17th March 2017
I may sound like your granny when I say that I well remember a time when 'information' had to be gleaned from reference books, libraries, and so on. Of course things are very different now . . . .
The point I'm making is that I date from a pre-internet era! I'm sure everyone (me included), is grateful for the wealth of information available via the internet. It's not the internet that's the problem, it's how we use it!
Is it possible to have too much information?
Well, I think so! Consider what it feels like to have an extremely cluttered house and you'll probably realise that too much of anything prompts overwhelm, indecision and a feeling of being burdened.
It's great to have the internet to research information and check facts but there's no natural end to this activity. For instance, I just 'Googled' 'help with decluttering' and within moments I was told there were 634,000 results! How on earth is the human brain supposed to sort out which results are most relevant? Just thinking about that list is mentally draining.
Compare this with looking at a few reference books. Information available may have been limited back then, but there was no chance of being overwhelmed by it. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of us are now just addicted to gleaning information - for its own sake. Don't forget, you have a life to live.
Internet shopping - Convenience? Or hassle?
If you do internet shopping you're asked to review everything you buy. You may feel obliged to do that as some kind of public service, but consider the time element. Perhaps you're the kind of person who wants to do research before a purchase? So you read every single review that's been written. When that's not enough you explore other sites for the same product. Does this bring clarity? I've been in this trap myself and to be honest I've ended up progressively more indecisive as a result. There's always a few people who have had a bad experience, I tend to find. Just remember, we all have different likes and dislikes.
The other irony is that some people get so overwhelmed with the amount of information on their screen they decide to print it for ease of reading and comparison. This makes matters worse, creating tangible clutter; piles of paper that may not find their way to the recycling bin, being deemed too 'useful'.
I would never suggest that sourcing information from the internet is a bad thing, but done in excess I think it can be mentally and emotionally draining. Only you know if you are susceptible to these feelings. Find your own level. If you find yourself sucked in then you could try setting a timer before you start. I can also help by suggesting ways you can strike a happy medium.
Try some retro shopping!
I do some internet shopping, but I prefer to go to a local shop, interact with a real person and see exactly what I'm buying. There you are, I told you I was old fashioned!
If you suffer from low mood I would recomment you get out to your local shops. Especially the independents. Once you become a regular customer at a particular shop then you will be greeted like a friend. Spending your money locally also makes sense from a community perspective.
Most importantly once you've made your purchase the job is done and you can go home and have a cup of tea. If you're uncertain as to what to buy then the staff in the shop can advise you.
The Sheaf Street Health Store in Daventry is a prime example of a well run independent shop with lovely friendly staff. Every time I shop there I come away with a smile on my face.
Remember, a constant quest for information is a form of clutter. Behaviour that prompts overwhelm; cluttering up your head and your life - shutting out things that are far more pleasurable, not to mention better for your wellbeing.
If this strikes a chord do please get in touch. Freedom awaits!