I’d finally had it. It was too much information coming at me from all sides, and I didn’t have the self-discipline necessary to just take a break. So I left Facebook (kind of, but it’s a long story), and I haven’t been back since.
I just couldn’t do it. I loved keeping up with friends, but I could not take the constant barrage of news, puppy videos, products-you-have-to-use-because-of-the-environment, which-Disney-princess-are-you quizzes. Everything just comes at you from all sides, you know? And when there’s so much information out there, you don’t know how accurate some of it is, or how beneficial.
So how do we find clarity within the information overload? Because we already have enough coming at us from all sides without having to spend time researching everything we see. How can we save our state of being from going over the edge? It takes a lot of mental awareness and self-discipline, but to get there, here are five ways to find mental, emotional, and intellectual clarity in our modern age.
Takes regular social media breaks
People do these all the time, but a week off every month or so will help clear your head from all the garbage (and the good stuff, too) you see in the world. If you struggle to stay away because you’re addicted—like I am—or you have that FOMO thing, remember that your mental state will be a lot better after just seven little days away, and you can schedule posts if you have to have a presence. But people will understand, especially if you tell them.
Take regular breaks from the news
Not so much that you become ignorant, however. I’m still trying to find that balance now that I’m not regularly visiting my old sources. We still owe it to our fellow human beings to know how to help.
But a couple days here and there won’t damage your responsibility, and if something really big happens, you can be sure your friends and family will tell you about it.
Ingest information from other places besides the digital media
Blogs are great, I happen to like mine, but you’ll find coherence if you take breaks from TV, from the Internet, and pick up a book. Not only does that leave less strain on your eyes, but you’ll have less distractions from all those tabs on your browser (that’s me!) and you’ll be able to process what you’re reading.
While you’re taking those social media breaks, do something productive and take a walk through the woods or something. I’ve always found that nature slows down the thoughts and clears the head.
Do you really need one more reason to exercise? How about actively fighting the stress you’ve accumulated from the barrage of information? How about moving your body while you slow your thoughts?
Now more than ever we have to actively combat the devils that attack us. It’s not called the information age for nothing. And while information is actually a wonderful thing—we can make better decisions and move forward because of it—we have to set gatekeepers in our lives, because otherwise this overload can overtake and crush us.
That sounds a little horrifying. But I wonder about our mental issues we’re increasingly struggling with and think that all of this pressure from all sides may have the tiniest part in affecting how we see ourselves and the world around us. There’s hope, but it’s a cross we have to bear in 2017