I was at the gas station this morning pumping gas and the simple act of pumping gas became an incident of information overload.. Just going to the gas station is a chore, but it can be nice to get out of the house. So while I was pumping gas, the pump screen started showing ads and blasting out more information. There was no way to mute it whatsoever, that I could see, and it was intrusive .
Why is everything an opportunity for people to grab our attention with more information?
It’s virtually impossible to get away from blaring ads and information that’s constantly coming at us. When we go on the computer, the bombardment of information is at peak level. All the social media platforms saturate us with information overload, in addition to ads selling products and services.
I like to listen to podcasts when I walk. However, I realized that I was beginning to fall into the trance of information overload. When I found myself trying to decide what to listen to between; The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, NPR, and Sounds True, I couldn’t make a decision. I like them all, but can’t listen to all of them. There are constantly so many choices of what information to consume, that I find myself frozen with indecision.
I realized I needed to back away from all the insidious and blatant interruptions that occur on a daily basis from our online reality.
For my past several walks, I stopped listening to a podcast. Since I live on a dirt road I could hear my footsteps and felt a connection to the earth. The simple rhythm of hearing my footsteps gave me a sense of groundedness. No pun intended! I was engulfed in the present moment while noticing all the different textures and sounds on my walk.
“Too much information running through my brain” From Sting song
What I discovered while backing away, taking many breaks, and filtering out all the noise on the internet and on my phone, is a sense of calm and clarity.
We need calm and clarity, as a mindset, to leave space open to discover new ways of being.
If we are always externally consuming media, nothing can get through with our creative thoughts. The rapid fire and repetitious onslaught dulls our essence.
You can set a timer to make sure you’re not caught in the trance of scrolling on your phone, watching inane videos ( or limit your time), and trying to embrace just what you are in the moment. Many studies have been done about the benefits of doing something else besides cell phone or computer engagement. If you can simply modify your time off your devices, you may have a bit more peace of mind.
As an artist and creativity coach, I’m an advocate for embracing your creativity, whatever it may be. You don’t need a perfect outcome from your creative pursuits. The fringe benefits are immense while you do your creative work. Such fringe benefits as liberating individualism, freedom of expression, and self esteem building can occur
Keep it playful, make mistakes, be silly, be serious, be experimental, laugh at your efforts, and
Take some time to yourself.