Information Overload

16 Apr

We live in a world of constant approval and updates – the first thing the majority of us do when we wake up is scroll through our smart phones browsing social media; what our friends are up to, what our peers have been doing and how we measure up. We get coffee and we watch the news, and then we head to work where we sneakily check Instagram, tweet here and there, and wait till we go home, where we spend the evening doing it all again. Consumer brands are reporting that their biggest online sales times are coming from these periods, where we sit watching TV yet can’t focus, tweeting away or purchasing on iPads and phones.


It doesn’t say much for quality time with our families and loved ones, does it?

A lot of it falls down to constant marketing; being shown products geared towards an aspirational lifestyle and being asked to buy into lifestyles we can’t yet afford. The results are detrimental to lives up and down the country with people being tied into credit agreements and wanting things before they can technically have them.

We need to start living for today, rather than chasing tomorrow, as for some people, tomorrow isn’t coming. By treating life like it’s the last day we will spend living it, and by appreciating what we have rather than constantly striving to gain what we haven’t got, we will start to see the magic in the moments we are living now, rather than looking back and wondering where so much time has gone.

What do you do to switch off from the world? UNICEF recently launched a pretty cool campaign to provide water to people who don’t have it. by not touching your phone for increments of 10 minutes, the phone companies will donate to the charity. It makes you realise quite how regularly you reach for your phone during the day.

I vow to make the most of my trip to Vancouver, and turn my phone off. I want to enjoy my time in a new city, exploring and visiting new places, without having to check to see what the rest of the world is up to.

How do you switch off?

11 Responses to “Information Overload”

  1. visitingmissouri April 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    I read this on my phone, in between studying and lunch. It’s always at one location where I am not, to prevent me from obsessing over Facebook dramas and WordPress statistics. But those in between moments are so gratifying when I do get a message, it’s almost scary.

  2. Patsy April 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    For years I refused to have a cellphone because I was worried about losing control. In 2010, I had to get one because of a new marketing job I had accepted. I got into the habit of shutting off all notifications when I got home and never looking at it until the morning.

    I am no longer at this job but I still have the exact same smartphone I purchased 4 years ago. I eventually turned off all sounds and notifications and only use it when I need to. I decided that I would decide when to check my messages, not technology.

    On weekends I also go outdoors and leave the phone at home. It’s a great lifestyle.

    • tinkerbelle86 April 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      its interesting. I used to have my work emails synced to my phone, and then I got an android which I can’t sync them to. I feel so much less stressed at home and I don’t worrk about work when Im not there.

      • Patsy April 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

        That’s good to feel less stressed! It’s all about balance.

  3. prenin April 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I have an old Motorola m3788e brick which acts as a phone and to send texts.

    I have the satisfaction of knowing it can’t be hacked even if the battery runs down quickly and dies horribly, even if you don’t use it for a year, so I have to keep replacing the damned thing which sets me back £10 every time.

    All I use it for is ordering a taxi when I’m in church to get back home.

    Sometimes we need just the basics! 🙂

    Hope you have a lot of fun hun when you go travelling! 🙂

    Love and huge hugs!!! 🙂


  4. oawritingspoemspaintings April 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    I just needed this post! I tend to get over-informed & stress out. Practically speaking I know I have to live in the now but one needs to hear it from others in order to reinforce our ideas.
    Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  5. philosophermouseofthehedge April 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Best idea ever. Turn stuff off. Live life.
    Great post

  6. Paul April 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    There have been times in my life when I bowed to the world of communication. My comm bill was higher than my mortgage. (No kidding! – my cell, wife cell, 2 kids cell, 3 internet accounts, 1 laptop, 1 desk top, 1 pager, 3 home phone lines – and from work: 1 cell, 2 e-mail accts, 2 desktops, 1 laptop, 1 desk phone with voice mail, 1 Mike phone, corporate intranet and central computing (A/S400) with internet and cloud computing ) I’m in a different place in my life now and have only one dumb cellphone and 1 e-mail account. It is freeing. According to my doctors, the stress of being ALWAYS on call with all those electronics – never out of reach -, was partially responsible for my colon cancer. They’re gone now and so is the cancer.

  7. Sheila April 18, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    So true! I often find myself falling into this pattern between work and social media. Hard to break the habit. I’ve tried to be more mindful about usage and turn off my phone at times just so I don’t hear any notice that I have a new message, alert, etc. It’s a battle though. But the first step is becoming aware, so you’ve achieved that much! ~ Sheila

  8. Dazzle Rebel April 27, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Enforced break periods work for me. I’ll just grab my motorcycle and ride off for the weekend with my phone there for emergency use only and often out of 4G, 3G or even GSM range I don’t get the chance to check in. I’ve even managed it during a particularly busy working week when I was pulling in 12 hour days, using a phone as a phone and laptop for work and nothing else for a week. People on Facebook wondered if I’d gone missing but it was incredibly good to relax the ‘old fashioned’ way when I got home at night.

  9. shirokuroken April 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    when you have something like that trip to Vancouver, you should prioritize everything relating to Vancouver and nothing else.

    but when you don’t have anything else important to do… i guess we just have that craving for attention, and to let everyone know we still exist.

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