reports and opinions

Information Overload: I’m Consciously “Uninformed”

By Adefela Olowoselu

Do we have a duty of care to ourselves to filter out what news we expose ourselves to?

It was on the week of Brexit itself that I remembered it was going to happen. The first time I heard about coronavirus and its impact was a couple of days after it was broadcasted on the news. I also wasn’t aware of the unfortunate death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other victims of the crash until my friends knocked on my door to tell me. From this, it would be easy to conclude that I am lazily uninformed, yet hear me out.

Now, it’s not that I don’t care about what is happening on the planet. I do, however, believe there should be an understanding of the journey to an individual being “uninformed”, and the intentions behind this. I am selective when it comes to the news I hear, the sources from which I obtain it, and the amount of time I spend with these sources. I know the most important information will infiltrate into my knowledge somehow anyway.

However, the sheer volume of information that is available to us by various news channels, social media platforms and word of mouth may easily lead some down a road of information overload. This could be extremely detrimental to not only our academic performance, but also to our mental health.

If I were to spend time on these sources of information on such a regular basis, particularly when the news reports are so ill-fated, I am aware of how drained I will become. So, what more for the people around me?

Good news, such as Greta Thunberg’s Nobel peace Prize nomination for the second year running, or the emergence of The Hampshire Refillery in Hampshire, which reduces plastic waste by selling refillable products, is also documented daily. However, we often forget that such news exists because the bad is so loud, emanating the impending doom of our society. Caution must be taken by every individual, to control the amount of information that they allow into their space.

I regularly ‘unplug’ myself from socials and news sources, and there is no selfishness in doing so. Just because Brexit slipped my mind for a while, I wasn’t aware of the deadliness of coronavirus, and I had to be told about Kobe’s death, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the world’s tragedies. Neither does it make me uninformed. It just exemplifies a journey to the conscious intake of information, for the sustainment of one’s peace of mind, and the energy that they release back into the world. 

I urge you to aim to remain in the loop of the occurrences around you. Just remember that the time at which you enter the loop, and the amount of time that you spend there can be completely controlled by you. The world moves too fast for some and too slow for others, so it is vital to figure out your pace of information intake. If the power you have to regulate your intake of information is greater than that which you are exercising, you need to reclaim control and create a suitable balance between the two.

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