Checking in to Information Detox


January 4, 2008   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Doesn’t it seem as if every day that goes by there is more information being streamed to us in an almost non-stop fashion? 24-hour news networks, RSS feeds from every web site, Blackberrys, Instant Messaging, E-mail, Cell Phones – even digital billboards are taking over on the roadways to stream a constantly changing message to us.

It wasn’t too long ago that the end of the day truly meant we could unwind and relax and not worry about things until the next morning, but not anymore. Today, we live in a 24×7 information stream that can overwhelm us if we are not careful.

There is no disputing the need for information so the solution is not to get rid of all the information that is available to us. Instead, consider cutting the fluff and only keeping that information which is relevant. We have to learn how to detoxify our lives from the information overdose we are currently in. By doing so, we’ll free ourselves up to pursue other activities – such as spending time with loved ones, or enjoying our favorite hobby.

Are you ready? Let’s check ourselves into information detox and get started!

The first secret I’m going to let you in on is this: most of the information we get nowadays is worthless. The sad part is, most of this worthless information is coming from news organizations. Do we really care what Paris Hilton is up to? Do we need to know what some celebrity is doing on their vacation? Of course not.

Now this isn’t to say you shouldn’t keep up with what is going on in the world and in your neighborhood – but the 24 hour news channels and news broadcasts are a far cry from the days of Walter Cronkite when the news mattered. So turn off the television and try a newspaper instead. They don’t have the room, nor the time, to print the sensationalistic news! You’ll find out more about what is going on in your local community and around the world in a concise format that you control!

E-mail was once hailed as the “killer application” that made the Internet important. While it has indeed become a necessity, e-mail is killer alright – it’s killing our free time, killing our brain cells and killing our work life! We are drowning in the stuff. E-mail boxes are about ready to burst and every month it seems the flow of information into them becomes greater and greater.

How do we handle this? Well, resolve to check your email twice, maybe three times, a day and that is it. Don’t let it run constantly in the background and interrupt you every time a message arrives. Learn to use newer technologies, such as Instant Messenger and Social Networking sites to cut down on your e-mail flow.

In the end, you should be learning how to eliminate some of the information overload from your life. You can try to organize it to some extent, but too much organization just eats into your time the same way the information does. There are times when you just have to “tune out and turn off” the information streams. You may think you need them, but you often find out that you are getting along just fine without them interrupting your life 24×7.

Detoxify your life from the information glut and you will find that you suddenly have the time to pursue your life’s passions, spend time with your family and free yourself from the shackles of your desk. You will discover a world outside the 24×7 information stream.

Written by David B. Bohl


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