Monday, April 5, 2021

Do I really need to know this?


In my olden days, I’d read the newspaper daily to learn what, at the time, was important for me to know.  Like most people who are creatures of habit, the stuff I read each day was about the same – front page headlines, local news headlines, sports page and maybe the weather.  At some point that I can’t remember when, I started reading obituaries and funeral notices.  And on Sunday, I typically read the Sunday “funnies.” 

Conversely, the stuff I skipped was about the same.  It didn’t interest me, or I never found the time to get to this news. 

I suppose it’s not much different now but, then again, maybe it is.  With a smartphone in my hip pocket and daily access to a desktop or laptop computer, I’m bombarded with, or seek out due to boredom or habit, whatever headline and related “news” happens to be on the computer screen staring at me. 

For good or bad, this is information overload, and a lot of this information is pure junk.  I’m not alone so together we seek out, or are seduced in, to headline after headline that in the olden days would never get our attention or cross our eyes.  Consequently, we carry much more “news and nonsense” in our minds because of a modern technology landscape that’s a never-ending and increasing part of our lives. 

It’s as if we’re the General Manager of the world, always needing to be prepared for a “State of the World” address to, or discussion with, everyone who’s part of our lives. 

It’s a tremendous burden and responsibility that we probably never sought out; it just fell on our laps thanks to this boundless information age modern technology has given us.

Lately, I’m trying to use a filter in my mind’s eye to chisel down my reading content to what’s only necessary. 

So, when I stare at my smartphone or computer screen and headline after headline shouts at me, “Come on in, I have something interesting that you need to know!”, I now ask myself before accepting the invitation, “Do I really need to know this?” 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

No comments: