December 3, 2010

Too Much Information

We have reached the end of another broadcast day...
I remember a simpler time. A wonderful moment in history when there was no internet, and TV stations ended the broadcast day at midnight. The madness actually stopped, replaced with a test pattern, and a sine wave tone that could wake you out of a deep, drunken slumber.

Today we are constantly bombarded with information, images, and sounds. All day, every day. If TV stations still stopped broadcasting at midnight today I would do what I should be doing - sleep. Turn the TV off, turn the brain off, and rest.

It has been a while since futurists have been predicting a 24 hour world where nothing ever closes. Why? Just in case you feel like shopping between 3:00 and 5:30 AM and don't want to be inconvenienced by shuttered, dark stores?

Go to bed, and let the shop keepers sleep, too. We don't need a 24 hour world. What we really need is a 12 hour world. The other 12 hours we can forget about doing and concentrate on being.

There are holdouts in some places where stores are still closed on Sundays, the people preferring to keep at least one day a week free of the taint of commerce. Less shopping, more time enjoying the important things in life.

North Americans see see an average of 3000 ads per day, and make hundreds of decisions per hour. We can use some of those decisions to limit the amount of information we take in. Then we will have to make fewer decisions, so will need less information.

Too much information in our lives has negative consequences for our mental well being. We can end the broadcast day, and make it stop.

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