Are you infoxicated? That’s the new word for information overload also known as information anxiety. This is overwhelm and it’s multiplied exponentially thanks to current technology. There’s just too much information!
TOO MUCH INFORMATION — THE OVERWHELM CRISIS
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed to the point of paralysis.
Where do I start? What matters and what doesn’t?
Why should I care?
News sources, product knowledge, online shopping, YouTube, social media.
Technology is constantly, rapidly changing! I just get familiar with a website, social media platform, app or smartphone, and then they change it. I have to re-learn where to find things, how to do things.
And here’s the kicker: most of the time it’s not any better than the old version! Sometimes it’s an improvement, but rarely. Most of the time it’s just a ‘fresh’ new look. It all seems very unnecessary, and a waste of time.
And how many different passwords and accounts do I need to have? Every retailer wants you to join their club, get points, earn rewards, have a user ID and a password.
WHAT’S HEALTHY FOR YOU?
We’re all different. How much information can you digest, and how useful is it to you?
I get overwhelmed very easily. You could say that my brain ‘fills up’ really quickly. When I’m being trained for a new job, I can’t think straight after only a few hours of new information. I’ve come to be okay with this. It’s part of being a Highly Sensitive Person. (Yes, that’s actually a thing! Take the HSP character trait test.)
I’m an introvert too, so the social media thing really buries me. I’ve made some adjustments and ‘rules’ that are user-friendly. For example, I now limit my Facebook and Instagram sessions to four times monthly. That’s it! It’s works beautifully.
BECOME INTENTIONAL ABOUT THE INFORMATION YOU CONSUME
Being intentional means that you think before doing. You ask good questions, like why?
Why are you posting this picture on Facebook?
Are you trying to impress people, or are you being authentic? Authenticity is such a refreshing rarity on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you care who likes it?
Does it show you as you really are, or a shiny veneer?
Why are you following this thread of news articles?
What news sites do you follow, and why?
And honestly — how much do you need to know?
It’s important to be somewhat informed, but who do you trust for information these days, and — what do you do with what you know?
THINGS TOO PROFOUND FOR ME
King David was called ‘a man after God’s heart’. He lived a few thousand years ago in Judah, so way less information was available. Still, he suffered from overwhelm. Here’s his wise and timely prayer:
LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forever. – Psalm 131
Remember who is in control, and who sees it all. God knows the truth from the lies. Lift up your heart with prayers and then let it go.
You don’t need to know everything.
You don’t need to insert yourself into every social media platform, hungering for significance and self-promotion. God sees you. He knows you as you truly are. And at the end of the day, that is enough.
Don’t give in to overwhelm. Stop. Become aware of the moment. Then put your hope in the Lord, and don’t be dismayed.
DO YOU NEED A TECHNOLOGY DETOX?
Do you find yourself on your smartphone for hours, late at night?
I do. Not all the time, but when I can’t sleep. I toss and turn in bed, feeling bored and frustrated. My mind fills with questions like:
What’s the best make-up to cover under-eye circles?
What are those white ducks with yellow bills called, and how long do they live? (they are super-cute and make good pets)
What does the word ubiquitous mean?
ESCAPE FROM TOO MUCH INFORMATION
I long for a complete technology and information detox. Here’s what I’m talking about: a tiny home secluded in a forest. No WiFi, and a lock-box for my cellphone. To spend several days there, alone, would be sublime.
There is such a place! I found it one night during a web search. I’ve yet to visit, but hopefully someday. It’s called Getaway House | Modern Cabin Rentals.
Maybe it’s time for you to escape too, and detox from the mental clutter.
Got questions or comments? How do you deal with overwhelm and infoxication? I’d love to hear about it. Please share your thoughts below.
Blessings, Ali 🙂