Constant Content: The Problem With Receiving Too Much Information
It is no secret anymore that most people wake up in the morning and check their social media before brushing their teeth. By the time you hit the bathroom to get ready for the day, you’ve known the weather, what team lost or won, what is happening abroad, and what latest swimsuit diaper Kim Kardashian is selling (the infamous pamper butt). We are now fully evolved in the way we consume and digest information.
What has happened today, is that the constant content we receive daily has desensitized us. It has made us so out of touch, that we can see a catastrophe develop and laugh at a mundane meme right after. We no longer digest the information we get. We barely analyze things as well. It is now common for people to “go with the flow” even on a mental level. What this has developed is an “auto pilot” lifestyle for most, a constant if-its-fast -and-simple-ill-consume-it type of lifestyle. Combine that with an ego tripping, know it all generation, and what you get is this: a group of people who know everything about nothing.
This ‘On Demand’ wave is not new. We have developed this trend years ago through Netflix, through Chipotle (sounds crazy I know), and through other means like app downloading. Too many choices, countless opinions, and no one is analyzing what is truly better for them. What this does is, it develops a culture of people who only do what the consensus do. What's the most popular, what's the latest, and what is the easiest to go with.
This isn’t the spoon fed generation, this is the microwave generation. Where everything is ready to consume in minutes. We mixed that with entertainment, and now entertainment is almost just as prestigious as news. This is why newspapers with substantial reputations have “wardrobe malfunctions” on front covers. It’s why news channels like ABC and NBC begin their segments on entertainment and sports. It’s subtle, but the changes are there.
Part of the problem is that most people used to use social media to escape their reality. It’s why reality television is so popular, because we can always critique from the comfort of our home, despite the personal, more important problems we face everyday. At some point, however, we pivoted from resorting to these things as an escape to depending on countless feeds to ease our mind. I’d hate to say it, but this is a drug, and we are addicted.
The likes, the comments, the follows, the reposting. All of these cogs in a bigger wheel that we don’t mind being hamsters for. If you stepped into a train in 1960 you will see men and women alike reading a newspaper or magazine. If you step into a train in 2017, everyone is on their phones. What’s the difference? Well for one, it took at least 5 to 10 minutes to read an entire article, analyze that writer’s opinion, and form your own.
These days we have:
A. Shortened the time of actually consuming the information
B. Cut out the middle part (really analyze what we are reading).
C. Make our personal opinion two-dimensional (poor answers, or literally an emoji).
Is there a cure for our addiction? Yes, smell the roses. Stop using social media for a while, at least a day. Initiate a conversation with a stranger. You’ll be surprised how connected we already are. No app, like, or comment is ever going to give you the warmth of another human; another living thing at that.
It is time to disconnect the mental microwave we have all become dependent of, and get familiar with the “oven of things”. Let things bake a while. Think about it, form an opinion, counter with even more points. Make yourself known more than just an emoji or abbreviated words and phrases.
The best advice on this topic I can say is this: you won’t ever have to worry if you’ve been desensitized if the entire article you’ve been nodding your head. If you don’t even know how you feel about it, beep beeeeeeep beeeeeepppppp: the microwave is done. Keep consuming human. I’m Anthony Genao, and I love you for free.