It seems we have to become aware of a new problem that is starting to invade our modern, industrial society, that being the problem of over stimulation. The Internet is an excellent tool but we have to remember that the mind is the most valuable tool imaginable. Some would argue that spirit or soul is of equal or more importance, I am not disagreeing with these people. The point that I am attempting to put forward for discussion is that although the Internet is an excellent new medium that can affect nearly all aspects of life in a positive way, like all things in existence it too has a shadow side. Over stimulation of the mind is a huge cloud in the blue sky of consciousness.
Have you ever sat at your desk searching through the Web for News information, then checking your emails with their accompanying attachments and links, and then doing general searches for random information? If you receive newsletters, or subscribe to blogs, you read these daily as well. The human mind is powerful, and scientists say that we only use an average of 10 % of it, but doesn’t that entail that we should be careful not to overload its present information processing capabilities?
I’ve read that in one New York Times newspaper there is more information to digest than one would have had to process in a whole lifetime of the Shakespearean era. With the advent of the Internet we have more access to knowledge and opinion than ever previously. We have to be cautious my friends. I personally have had to come to the realization that my spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health is of more importance than all other things in life. If I work too hard, or try to read too much, my mind starts to weigh down with all the thoughts that are produced with each and every tidbit of communication that I take in. After a while I sometimes feel like there is a giant cloud inside my mind and I no longer feel confident to do the daily activities that are required of me as a committed team player of our society.
So what’s the solution? Well, like all things in life solutions are often more simple than we could ever have hoped for. We just have to keep our eyes open to grasp the answers that are presented to us as opportunities everyday. Make a note when you are feeling bogged down and tired and think about how much information you have tried to compute in that moment. Give yourself time limits and a designated number of searches and downloads for a day. You can learn to take more breaks and find anecdotal means to sift through the information, or even block out all the stimuli in that break period.
Gardening, meditation, stretches, breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, cooking, sports, music…all of these are options to undertake when you want to get away from the noise of too many ‘voices’.
The Internet is an awesome idea that has come to fruition. Like all tools and mediums of interaction it must be used mindfully, with care for the user as first priority. You would never use a power saw without gloves, boots, and ear and eye protection. You could lose a finger…you’ve heard the horror stories. Well the Internet hasn’t really been around long enough for too many stories to be circulating, and I think its negative effects could be more subtle than my example, but the case at hand is that we must be very careful how we interact with the world around us.