Information overload

Eve.

I guess if she’d passed the test and all other women between her and me had too, I’d eventually have messed it all up anyway.

But sometimes I want to ask her: was it sweet enough?  Was it satisfying enough to carry you the rest of the way, partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil?  You ate and you suddenly, having lost your innocence, knew the difference between them.

Of course we know the answer is that it wasn’t.  It wasn’t enough.

Genesis 2.16-17   And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Information junkie.

Once I started reading Seventeen magazine at the age of about 14 and found that I loved the center section full of facts and figures and studies and how-tos, I knew I was in to knowing, to discovering and learning and ingesting as much fact and data as I could.  I’d been that way earlier, from about the age of 4 when President Kennedy was shot and I became a newspaper reader, carefully devouring the pictures and headlines, impatiently waiting daily for my dad to be finished so I could spread the large newsprint on the floor and check out the world from my safe haven: unrest on college campuses in the 60s, the scandal of Jackie marrying Ari O.  Dear Abby, Dear Ann Landers and all the rest.  I was hooked.  In fact, in an effort to keep a holy day, my parents didn’t allow Sunday paper reading on Sunday.  Oh, the agony – seeing the giant bundle, so full of world news and events, yet so far from my reach…But at 14, reading Seventeen, that is when I knew I wanted to accumulate knowledge – about anything.  I craved it, I searched for it.  I inhaled it.

Then I pounded the living daylights out of everyone else with the mountain of info I’d accumulated.  Since we didn’t have TV for many of my growing up years, it worked perfectly with my encyclopedia and dictionary-reading enjoyment.

If I’d applied myself to actual school studies as carefully as to knowing something about everything in the universe, I’d have been a phenom.

And then, omygosh, came the world-wide-web.  I know.  I know.

Ecclesiastes 1.18

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;

the more knowledge, the more grief.

I may know more about the people I know more than ever, with social media, updates, blogs, posts, statuses and the texts, o-the-texts.  Yet, I don’t think I know them more.  Yahoo news bites (where I sadly get most of my news these days) and google.com have made it hard for anyone to sneak up on me with information on the state of our world and its very weird people.  I have read just enough to know I have read too much on too many inconsequential topics and I am worn out trying to make my own mind up.

Take a completely wholly-a-matter-of-opinion topic like how to best arrange your closet for optimum organization.  You look, read, study it a bit and decide, yes – this will help me get out the door quicker in the morning.  But before you have even printed the designer labels for all the new containers you just purchased, some one comes along and revolutionizes the whole thought process, and dang it – there it was in your Sunday paper, if only you’d waited!

I don’t even have time to respond and grow with info anymore.  There is no time to react to it, to consume it and then let it live through me in whatever way it might have been helpful, before I am inundated with new info, a better way, here’s how, that-is-last-year-try-this.  Mental Floss Magazine – Where Knowledge Junkies get Their Fix, is both wondrous and killing me.

Hang up and talk.

It isn’t just news outlets, publishers and the internet that are both feeding my addiction and killing my soul.  It is the smart phone.  When we all go out to dinner and spend all our time checking our messages and Twitter and FB and whatever else because we are afraid we won’t know when some one we know has purchased a Billy shelving unit from IKEA or saw the latest movie before us or that they are blue or having the best day ever or whatever, well.  What a waste.

One woman recounted, recently, how romantic it felt to her when a first date turned off his phone when they sat down at the restaurant.  She knew she was getting his undivided attention and guess what?  They are a couple.

Am I really so important that a friend can’t have have a meal with me now without my having to check messages/FB/Twitter/etc and take calls?  Really?

Soapbox on the side

Please replace this:  Oh – I have to take this call.

—with—

Do you mind if I take this call?

 

TMI or TMC (Too Much Connectedness) ?

I don’t know.  I just know my mind is worn out.  And I can’t keep up.  And I don’t care.  And maybe it just means I am TDO (Too Dang Old).

I used to think the simplicity-kick people were just kill-joys.  The most important thing I did today was color with the grandkids.  With crayons.  On paper.  No Sunday newspaper.  We drew apples, and caterpillers and kites and spiders.

And Guini was explaining to me, with our little smiley-faced spider, that it didn’t really have enough eyes.  Should have eight, she shook her head.  I think I knew that once…

S E R E N I T Y Now!

2 thoughts on “Information overload

  1. There is a bit of humor to this post but mostly it is so true. I am guilty and I hate it. The smartphones, especially, are killing us. It will become as much a discipline in theses over the top techno days, to cease phone use as it is to not pass gas in public. The pressure might be there but you just got to squeeze tight and not let it go for the sake of others. We are in a danger zone of literally disconnecting with reality (the living, breathing person in our presence) and living in fantasy/technology 90% of the time. I personally am going to make an effort to “lay this burden down” and give my full attention to those around me.

  2. Love it! You hit the nail on the head. That is why my phone is usually turned off and I turn it on to make a call. Before cell phones and answering machines we never worried about missing a phone call. Now we think we have to know everything right away. I have been actually letting the phone ring if I am doing something I consider more important. Imagine that, not answering the pone! Keep writing and sharing, and remember, the grandkids need attention now because they will eventually get their own phone and stop talking to you face to face!

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