The United States celebrated our Independence Day over the weekend. Many, myself included, took Friday off and made it a long weekend.
I turned off my computer, kept my phone in my pocket, and lived life fairly free from personal electronics. Aside from a few movies, the TV went pretty unused as well. Instead, I watched a fantastic parade and some equally great fireworks. I took two long hikes with my wife. I read a book printed on real paper.
After three solid days of living off the grid, my brain feels much clearer and my mood is much lighter. You probably think I’m going to say electronics are evil or something, but electronics really aren’t the problem. My problem is how much information I feed into my brain. It’s easy to overload on information, and it happens more than I think. It’s only when I take a break that I realize just how much information I put in front of my eyes every day.
Information is NOT knowledge or wisdom, which you can probably never get enough of. Sure, it can evolve into knowledge through assimilation, or wisdom through experience, but information that is not used is just mental clutter.
If I asked you to print every page you visit on the web or every post you look at Facebook and then put it into a filing cabinet (even if you’ll never view or use it again) you’d call me crazy. And yet, stuffing your brain full of information that you never use is equally loony, don’t you think?
And don’t even get me started on the self-defeating practice of comparing your life to what you see, hear, and read on the internet. That’s a topic for another day.
This week, take a break from information intake. Let your brain catch up and clear out a little bit. You’ll feel happier, more creative, and a lot less stressed.
This article doesn’t count, of course, because you’re actually going to do what it says, right?