Information Overload.

Usually when I sign out of my Hotmail account, I spend a bit of time browsing the MSN homepage. Sometimes there are some interesting ideas out there, and I really tend to love the travel section so I can get some ideas of where to try to go next. Along with all of those good and fun articles, I also find a lot of garbage. I’m not ripping on MSN here, that’s just an example, but there is so much bullshit out there!

I always see an abundance of articles out there on losing weight, celebrity issues, how to solve all of your money problems, ect. Most of it is pure trash. If one well-written article could solve all of your problems, I guarantee that almost all of us would be skinny, healthy, emotionally stable, and financially responsible. The fact that most of us are not that way just proves how much crap is really out there.

As far as losing weight, it takes different things for different people. Just because you “eat these five foods” or do some special diet or exercise regimen doesn’t guarantee that you will lose weight. Even if you do lose weight, you may not be doing it in a healthy or sustainable way. People who truly want to lose weight and maintain a healthy body need individualized instruction from someone like a doctor or trained fitness professional to help them figure out exactly what they need. There is no miracle pill or special rule that will guarantee (healthy) weight loss for everyone. All those articles do is make people feel bad that their approach isn’t working. Many of those articles use scare tactics to get people to do or avoid doing certain things. If you read all those articles, you will probably never want to eat again! Everything causes cancer or inflammation, or disease, so reading those articles will only increase your anxiety, which is probably counterproductive to weight loss anyway!

All of the celebrity drama is probably my least favorite. Most of these celebrities literally do nothing productive, and yet they take up so much space in the media. Now if you are telling me how celebrities are working toward helping their communities, or donating to charity, those things make me happy. Hearing about the demise of stars with substance problems, or who’s getting divorced is really not productive for anyone. Those people have their own problems that they need to deal with among their own family and supporters. And if all of us “normal” people cared as much about those in our families and communities maybe there wouldn’t be such domestic turmoil. Again, most of this is just another distraction and anxiety-causing racket that people need to get away from. It’s destroying our society because everyone is comparing themselves to these people who clearly have different lives than the rest of us. We all need to stop comparing and work on ourselves.

The money articles are a riot. They all tell you how to save money and cut back on spending, but how does that help someone that is literally scraping by to eat? If you can’t even afford your basic necessities, there is no way you can just throw 20 bucks in a shoebox every week. It sure would be nice, but it’s not practical. Again, everyone is comparing and finding themselves upset because they can’t fit into the box. If they can’t save that money, there must be something wrong with them. At least that is how a lot of people see it. Or some will say things like “even if you can’t afford to travel, do it anyway.” That isn’t exactly a practical approach. Sure, maybe if you cut down on your morning coffee for a while you might be able to save up for a couple days at the beach or something, but you have to be realistic for your means. There are a lot of people who already can’t afford the morning coffee in the first place, and what about them?

I’m not saying these articles shouldn’t be out there or that they should be censored, I’m just saying the writers really need to learn to present things better. Most advice isn’t one size fits all, and it doesn’t work out the same for everyone. Writers need to target their audiences a little more specifically, and us as readers need to not be so gullible. Most of the time I will just buzz right by articles because it sounds like hogwash from the beginning. Targeting your audience ensures not only that your article will be read, but that it will make a positive impact. So much of the information out there is garbage that when you find something real, oftentimes you are still skeptical. I don’t think we need a government or a censoring bureau or anything else to tell us what should and should not be printed, but we the people need to demand that the information out there have some sort of quality. When we find this kind of garbage, don’t pass it on to your friends before you do some research. Don’t just start following a diet plan because an article said it would be good for you. We need to do our own outside investigating and start calling out these articles with falsehoods. We need to stop accepting so much garbage.

We are overloaded with information because nowadays anyone can post anything and claim it is fact. If we stopped reading trash, held writers accountable, and had discussions about material we found instead of blind following, it would be amazing what we could accomplish. Information overload desensitizes us and clouds our views. If we decide to stand up to garbage information, eventually it will start to go away. Of course we will never be able to eradicate it all,  but we should strive to start somewhere. We need to get to a point where we can trust a majority of the information we see instead of having to be skeptical. And boy would I like to see people cut down on the gossip information. Let people live–oh yeah, and stop making people famous for no reason! Let’s try to help humanity instead of destroying it.



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