Drowning in the Information Ocean

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By: Chris Schliefert

The Internet… It seems hard to imagine living without it in this day and age. With a wealth of information easily within our reach at all times, seemingly free and without rules or limits, accessible to nearly anyone at any time, do we ever really think about what it’s doing to us? Have we perhaps become too reliant upon the Internet?

In today’s Western society, most people would have access to the Internet in some way, whether it be by smart phone, home PC, or even an Internet Cafe (if you are that way inclined). It seems hard to imagine never being able to surf the web; not being able to indulge your informational whims as you please, not being free to seek the attention and validation of people on a wide spread basis. Are we as a society perhaps dependent upon it now? Could one even say… addicted?

It is a fairly safe bet to say that most people would have access to and regularly use some form of social media, Facebook and Twitter being the most trafficked culprits. Multitudes of people sharing everyday aspects of their lives constantly that one would have never heard or cared about in the 80′s. It is incredibly easy to just hop on the web and find people willing to listen to you, validate you, approve of your opinion, but are they really able to handle the constant influx of information? Are they able to fully comprehend and understand it all? Despite the relative degree of anonymity that one can have, you still need to be careful not to reveal too much.

Personally, I’d have to say that I’m addicted myself. Without the Internet I’d have a hard time keeping in contact with friends and I’d certainly be restricted in finding new and interesting people to swap opinions with. I’d probably also be severely in the black from buying so many books to keep myself entertained, but I digress. Today’s society has evolved to this point where we must constantly be wired into everything and must keep up to date with all the latest goings on as they happen. It can and does lead to people getting left behind because not everyone is able to process the sheer amount of information (If they’re really even processing it at all).

Maybe sometimes we just need to slow down from the hectic rush the Internet gives us, just every once in a while, just long enough to give us a chance to surface and take a breath before diving right back in.

Maybe I’ll curl up with a book tonight and ignore the computer. Certainly can’t hurt, right?

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