I was wondering this as yet another day unfolded and people told stories about how they feel overwhelmed by the world.
Society is changing and evolving at an amazing rate. Technology is going thousands of different directions at once. Everyday more information comes at us than we can absorb let alone manage, sort, and remember.
So how do we decide what to pay attention to and what to let slide by?
I’m not sure when it started but I’ve always been able to filter the world to an enormous degree. Most, who know me, would say it started with the Bush administration – but I could do it before that. I did it in college. When I went to see “The Crying Game” in the theater months after the academy awards I had no idea what the twist was. I had carefully positioned myself to preserve my ignorance.
I also found, after my self-imposed exile from all forms of news, that the world hadn’t changed much. It was only three years, then up for air for a year, then back down with my head in the sand so I couldn’t hear.
Where my avoidance of the news is concerned I am a little appalled by my behavior. I should have made a stand for what I believed in, commented on what I saw happening. But I didn’t. I was too appalled, too horror struck by what we were doing and where we were going. Self imposed isolation was preferable.
But I was talking about information – that incredible flow that never stops – all the new technologies keeping us in touch, informed, in the loop. And with all this new information that we are constantly being bombarded with, how do we know what is important?
That really is the question. How do we know what we need to pay attention to and what we can ignore?
In order for me to write I have to limit distraction. At the same time I have to have a constant supply of new information, ideas, knowledge, and conversations in order to keep my mind healthy and active. I’ve found that when I don’t have this constant influx I stagnate. Yet somehow I have to also have the silence that place without distractions or connections, where I can be free to live inside my head.
Finding the balance is difficult. It may even be impossible.
How do you find that place in-between – or do you find yourself being subsumed by the noise drowning in information?
~ Tess Anderson