Information is all around us. We are constantly being bombarded with “current events”. It’s in all our media channels: TV, FB, Twitter, Billboards, radio, magazines, at the movies, on the checkout line in the grocery store, bumper stickers. We see it on the news, on our FB wall, on the cover of Star Magazine while we wait to checkout, on our way to work. All these outlets are hijacking our attention so they can fill our minds with information that is mostly garbage (unessential to us), and/or lies.
At the very least, letting ourselves be exposed to all this garbage information is robbing us of our time, and brain power. But beyond that, it is robbing us of our mental real estate. So much of all this information we are exposed to, we actually DO absorb. Every time we hear about some new piece of Hollywood gossip it becomes a small little form that we put in a file which we load into a file cabinet in the memory warehouse of our mind; and the warehouse does not have unlimited space. Just another small piece of useless information that is deviating us from our focus.
Mental clutter is no different than physical clutter, other than the fact that mental clutter is so much easier to accumulate. We accumulate it without even realizing.
So how do we limit our mental clutter? Easy. Limit our exposure to it’s channels. Now I’m not suggesting we isolate ourselves from media altogether (live off the wire, or grid). Far from it. Because the truth is that we DO need many of these channels to in fact stay informed and current on information that IS valuable to us. BUT, we do need to filter this exposure.
There are many ways one can do this, so I have listed some ways that have helped me below:
- Limit our TV time. In fact, schedule it. Four hours a week (or whatever we can handle). Or, abandon TV altogether. I, for one, do not get cable service (just internet).
- Do the same for our computer and mobile media outlets. Allot only a very limited amount of time per day to allow ourselves to be exposed to these channels.
- I do not however recommend that we abandon these media outlets altogether, as most of these outlets are ideally suited to keep us up on current events. And unlike TV, we have far more control over what we allow ourselves to be exposed to. We can custom tailor our FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other channels settings to allow only those information sources that are valuable to us and we trust to come through our feed. It is important though that we severely scrutinize what we allow to come through our feed, and that we occasionally revisit these settings.
We must do a periodic exploring an purging of the pages and people we “like” in our social media. Remove the “empty calorie” entertainment. Remove the toxic elements and hate from our feed. Let in the positivity and the current relevant information from unbiased trustworthy sources (gonna have to do some homework for that).
We humans have very limited ability to weed out much of the garbage information that the powers are exposing us to, from being absorbed in to our minds. Otherwise advertisers would not spend millions of dollars on Ad space during the Super Bowl. So we must kill the flow of information at our source ….. turn off the tube.