We are increasingly overloaded with information as the information era gains pace. The amount of information we have to deal with everyday is growing at a phenomenal rate.
I looked at a website yesterday, for example, which was teaching people how to deal with email. The first point was that you simply don't have to read all your emails. Some people are getting so many emails that they just can't handle it anymore. You could literally sit all day long writing answers - and as soon as you send an answer you are likely to get another email coming in - answering your answer. You even hear about people getting up in the middle of the night going to check their emails, and first thing in the morning, and in the gym, at the dentist, during meetings - the only place that is email free is where there is no connection.
Nowadays you can get lost in all these words in the way that previously you might get lost in the forest. If there's anything you want to find out, you go to the internet and have instant access to millions of pages of information on any given topic - and then you can lose an hour or two trying to find exactly what you want. On the way you find so much interesting information, and you save some of it for future use, but in the end you wonder where the time went.
We are totally overloaded with information and it is not sustainable, so where are we headed? In the nature of yin and yang we can expect to swing the other way, and it has already started. You can predict the future by looking at what is reaching a peak at the moment; what is becoming too much for human beings, and then you know what people will want next. And if you're fast and want to get ahead of the trend you can start to do the new trend now.
When your mind becomes too full you reach a point where you just want it to be empty - totally empty. You feel a deep need for a massive spring cleaning to clear all the junk out of your head. That is the reason why people are beginning to turn to meditation and relaxation. They are methods for emptying your mind.
If you find you're checking emails in the middle of the night; or dependent on checking your inbox every half hour; or you feel that new emails are like food to a hungry body; this may be an early warning sign of a new sickness - we can call it information sickness. The cause - information overload. And the healing for that sickness is relaxation; emptying your mind... doing nothing.
By Sarah McCrum MA, PGCE, Dip LC
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