Monday, August 18, 2008

Information Burnout?

Am I the only one?

From time to time I suffer from information overload or information burnout out it seems. I'll go gung-ho for weeks and months at a time keeping myself informed of current events. I evenly spread my interests to conventional news sources but also blogs and other media. Then after awhile I just can't pay attention anymore. I even avoided my own iGoogle page which is something I put together. It has my email and, most important, links and RSS feeds to pages that I want to read when they update. These pages range from news sources, blogs and even online forums.


For example, while studying for my master's, I was plugged into CNN and other news sources almost constantly. Except for the time right after Hurricane Katrina because that, frankly, just made me suicidal. I'd watched so much coverage and talked about it so intensely on online forums that I realized the news was seriously getting me really depressed, so I intentionally tuned out for a couple of weeks to get my equilibrium back.

I still can't bring myself to tune into CNN's broadcasts. It's so bad that I think I'm going to call my cable company and pay the extra they'll charge me to add BBC News, which I love anyway, just to balance out the CNN International burnout.

I notice this because it hits in waves. I'm coming down off of another wave right now and I was actually able to open and read a few blogs from the MediaBistro site and I considered for a brief second reading the Huffington Post (I didn't though.)

Maybe it's because after being inspired by the pain of having to visit the dentist many times this month and my hours of research on tooth decay and dental hygiene, I'm pretty much an armchair expert. As me anything about interdental cleaning methods...go ahead!

Maybe regaining equilibrium is what it's all about. Most news coverage is just overwhelmingly negative. I've noticed it's rare you get positive news stories. After so much negative information on international politics or culture and society, you just need to step back and let it be.

It seems, for now, that my information burnout is fading away.

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  1. yeah my Google News - US feed is all "so and so killed" or "family murdered in their home" etc. etc.

  2. It's never been as bad as it is now. I think between all of the bad news "so and so killed", "family murdered in their home", clips of world havoc and George W. Bush messing up something else (whether that be policy or botching the pronunciation of something...again), I just flip out and turn off the TV.

    This morning I was able to start off watching BBC news but Sport Today was on, so we'll see how I do when the world headlines come on :S

  3. As for information overload... it's cyclical for me. But yeah, very common, I think. Score one for Alvin Toffler (circa Future Shock). :)

  4. Yeah, right now I'm back. I think it's the excitement of the upcoming US presidential election that keeps me more on the side of hope than hopeless. I can even stomach CNN and the BBC.

    I'm just balancing it with sillier stuff like The Onion. And, watching movies ;-)

  5. LOL I'm just coming out of it now, having finished a big paper, but... ugh, the semester's starting! :/

  6. Well, congrats on finishing the paper.

    For me, work started last week, so after a summer off I've got to get back into it: syllabi, first classes, "have the textbook by the next class or else" lectures, etc. So far, so good.

  7. Ha, I can't believe it but I sort of envy you... being in it already, you're past the vague dread I feel... it'll be fine once it starts, but at the moment, I feel like I'm watching a big wave about to roll into shore on top of me! :)

    Have fun torturing those without books! It's good for them. ;)

  8. Well, it's over for me and, right now, I'm suffering from the "get your butt" moving inertia that I get when it comes to going to work (for some reason I tend to forget that I can check my email, read news headlines, etc. AT WORK!)

    I've got 27 minutes to get to the door. I'm good...I hope.


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