I is for Information Overload

Maybe I am starting to get older…  I think I’m getting to the point that I can’t keep up with new technology.  I have an account on Twitter but have to admit it baffles me.  I understand how to use it and even see advantages to it… I’m just a little fuzzy on how to integrate it into my life.  I tend to follow a variety of tweeter’s… friends near and far, counselors/MFTs, spagirls, other moms looking for a deal, friends I’ve met on the internet, places I look to for inspiration.  Perhaps it is because I do not have a phone with internet access (or the money to pay for that phone service!), but logging on to Twitter seems to leave me feeling assaulted by information.  Information Overload.  Too much being thrown out there and not enough time to absorb or respond to it all.  And yet… I don’t want to miss anything… and so I still log in every now and again.  Thinking now… it seems to me that if I *did* have a mobile phone, I’d feel even more assaulted by constant information.

It isn’t just Twitter.  I also avoid the evening news whenever possible.  When I do read news it is typically from the Internet.   My husband does not understand this AT ALL.  I think he feels that I am clueless on world affairs.  The reality is… I don’t know that I want to know everything.  It is hard enough at times for me to keep faith in humanity without watching the news.  When I do catch the news, it seems all I hear is death, catastrophe, blaring sports commentary.  Do I really need more of that in my life?

Lest you think I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend life is perfect (if you do think that, you should probably read the rest of this blog!)… much of this antipathy to the news started when I moved to Memphis from a small college town a few hours away.  I watched the same news station; but, suddenly, the local news was about my city — not the big city a few hours away.  I spent my days here working in social work, traveling to areas of town most lock their doors driving through if they dare to enter at all.  I saw enough suffering.  I didn’t want to see more.  Later… my emotional energy was spent on my own personal or family issues… work issues with clients and/or coworkers included.  I didn’t feel I had energy to spend on more drama.  Maybe that is selfish of me.

It’s ironic… I spent much of my life fairly apathetic to global issues or politics.  That was during the time I did watch the news. 🙂  These days… I care.  I don’t always understand complexities involved… but as I am getting older I am realizing how much bigger systems impact my little family.  I’m realizing that one of my needs for life is to make a difference, even if that difference is limited to teaching children I am blessed to mother and teach that not everyone is as privileged as they are.  But now I don’t watch the news.  Ironically, I do follow our local news station on Twitter and Facebook and CNN on Twitter.  Maybe news in 140 characters is easier to sort through and handle?  Or at least to determine what I want to know about in greater depth…

Guess this turned into I is for Information Overload and Issues, social.  Anyway… I am curious.  Do you watch the news on television?  Do you get your news from the internet, your Blackberry/I-Phone, the newspaper?  Do you feel overwhelmed by how much information there is about local and world events?  And can you give me Twitter advice? 🙂

Ideas?

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Melody, up until about a year ago, I used to watch the news every. single. day. Then a counselor I was seeing advised me to just stop watching it completely. So, I did. It was hard at first, b/c I was just so afraid i was going to miss something. Every now and then if nothing else is on, I’ll try to go back and watch it. But now I’m so aware of the “scare tactics” and overly dramatic stories that I can’t stomach it. If I do read/view any news, it’s via the internet.

    As far as Twitter goes, some days I think I understand it and appreciate it. Then other days, I just let it fall to the side. I just don’t understand the purpose of having both Twitter and Facebook. And some people even have them linked up to post together. It can get quite annoying if you’re following both sites.

    Anyway, this was, again, a great post. Have I mentioned how glad I am that you decided to do the A-Z challenge?!

    Reply

  2. I get overloaded, too. The news, I don’t always watch if it is really important, I always hear about it from
    husband or Mother. I don’t think we need to take time out of lives to announce to people what we are doing. I am doing yoga, I washed my car, I walked my beagle, I went to the movie, I went out to eat,
    too much information. I think how many people really care…I’m not famous, if i was and felt I needed this PR, i’d hire someone to do it for me. I want to live my life, not keeping stopping and tweet what I am doing.

    Reply

  3. I set up Twitter only to find I couldn’t understand it,I belong to FaceBook but apart from making friends I don’t understand about farming and other constructive goings on there, I’m not thick but this new technology is baffling me yet my grandchildren the oldest nearly 12 years works it like a charm.

    Have a stress free week end.
    Yvonne,

    Reply

  4. I started a twitter account a couple of years ago before it was quite so popular. I thought it was kinda boring. I went back after being gone for 9 months or so and discovered I was still following John Edwards! How embarrassing!! Yeah, I dropped him for a second time. I read the headlines of my local paper, and the obituaries. Sometimes the daily log just to see who is getting into trouble. Most of my news comes from yahoo. At work when I log onto yahoo I get the NYC page…talk about depressing.

    Reply

  5. I sure can become saturated with information overload. I don’t text nor does my phone receive texts. I don’t twitter and don’t know how. My grandkids are shocked that the most thing my phone does is take or make calls. It does have a camera that came with the free phone. But I don’t have a blackberry, an iPhone, an iPad, or even that new fangled oPad debuted on Biblical Christianity’s Blogsite.

    I blog and face book. Now I am finding that blogging takes so much time! Mercy, mercy, mercy…

    Reply

  6. I don’t really watch the news or read much news on my own time… I usually get caught up on current news while at work… they usually have the news station on and I hear bits and pieces. We are all in different seasons in life- sometimes the season is meant to be dealing with the issues at hand. God sees the big picture and understands how the pieces all come together in the end… I understand about information overload because that happens to me… sometimes it can even be stimulation overload as well. interesting post… I have been feeling this information overload with the A to Z challenge but I keep on going…

    Reply

  7. I don’t watch or read the news. Occasionally husband will mention something, or a facebook friend will post something or link an article. I don’t want to take the time I think it would require to sift through the stories to find the facts. Sometimes I start reading and thinking about an issue, but it usually gets boggy and confusing after a while.

    I don’t do Twitter — Facebook and blogging is enough for me.

    This topic reminds me of shopping — internet shopping is nice because you don’t waste gas and can look more quickly, but there’s so much more to look at. Even going to a regular store sometimes feels like overload to me. Even our crummy Salvation Army thrift store takes me too long to sift through.

    Reply

  8. i got tired of watching fox news. as for facebook, i didn’t last 24 hours on it! abanoning it quickly. the stupid program went thru all my emails and all the addies from the forwarded ones. drove me right up a proverbial wall! no thanks, blogger is enough for me. news i can get from yay-hoo…and read from 3-4 sources reliable sources. don’t want a blackberry either. happy with my cell phone/old style/flip open. don’t send text messages/only emails. can’t keep up with this world. beginning to feel like a dinosaur and out of place:)

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  9. I tend to watch the news at supper time and skim headlines/read anything interesting in the paper daily. I sometimes use a local online news site, but it’s a fun source. I don’t read anything too depressing though 🙂

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  10. Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I used to be a news watcher too. But I just find it all so sensationalized and filtered in a way. I prefer to read my news online or listen to NPR. But I admit that, while I care passionately about these issues (even more so as I get older), I am not always on top of them as much as I probably should be. As for twitter, I am on it, but it does go by incredibly fast. I think it really helps to try to respond to tweets and mention people in your tweets, so you can start a conversation. Sometimes tweeting feels like you’re sending your thoughts out into nothingness.

    Reply

  11. I’m giving you a mention on my site Monday J-day.
    Lee
    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

    Reply

  12. Twitter is beyond me. And I only just scan the headlines in the paper before going to the page with Suduko on it. Information overload does seem to be happening 😦

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  13. Twitter advice? Don’t bother with it. You are such a talented writer – keep blogging! And yes, I watch one evening news show and 20 minutes of morning news and that is all. Too much to do, too many friends to chat with (not on Twitter), too much fun to be had to sit in front of the TV hearing about depressing stuff!

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  14. Melody, I don’t watch the news either. Can’t stand all the depressing killing and stealing going on. I tend to get my information/news online. I’m not into Twitter either.

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  15. Hi I’m Debra from Dream Weaver and I’m blogging to the alphabets. You are soooo right. I avoid newspapers and news shows. After the Presidential election I was just info. out of it. I hate twtter which to me is pointless. Phew thanks for the vent. Do visit me also.

    Reply

  16. I am totally 100% with you on all points! 🙂 I have a Twitter account too. Even use it once in a while but that us a rarity! Information Overload is a good description!

    Reply

  17. I’m still trying to get the Twitter thing, too, so I can’t offer any advice. I do feel there is an information overload with 24 hours news on so many stations. Though I do watch the news once or twice during the day, I usually wonder why I put myself through it.

    Reply

  18. There is definately information overload. I stay mainly to my blog and Facebook with a little bit of Twitter mized in. That’s about all I can handle. I’m trying out Blog Radio. We’ll see how that works out.

    Stephen Tremp

    Reply

  19. Now that I think about it…I only get news from my home page. Its up all day, constantly refreshes, and gives me video. I only use newspapers if I’m at a coffee house and someone left one behind.

    Reply

  20. I get most of my news on the internet. I understand the apathy. For me it’s because the media is so over dramatic. It seems like they only want to focus on the bad things in the world. Michael Crichton wrote a gret fiction book about it called State of Fear. As for Twitter, I’m still avoiding getting an account for that very reason.

    Reply

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