Amen Sister! Gertrude Stein said this in the 1940s before there was the World Wide Web. If she thought there was a lot of information last century imagine what her comment would be now about the internet! Talk about information overload. There is waaaaayyyy too much information for any one person to process, so we bing, gorge and have indeed lost our ability to employ our own common sense. We simply sit there are ingest to the point of complete and utter information overload, then we do it again tomorrow.
This pandemic has reminded me that information is not always exactly the true story. The news reported that people in New York City were all wearing masks as they walked down the street, then showed people walking down the street who were wearing masks. I was told that ‘everyone out there is wearing a mask’. I noted that they filmed people wearing masks to confirm their story which is different than ‘everyone’ was wearing masks. The media has an agenda to get us to pay attention so they tell us just enough to get us to pay attention. What would happen if we stopped paying such close attention and filtered for ourselves the information we believe and wanted to know? Wait, we can do that? Yes we can.
The internet is like the bathroom wall of life. There is no filter, no validation and no guarantee that what is posted is true, works or was even filmed in the same way it was published. We have to employ our own wits and wisdom to process the information out there. With all that is bombarding us there is no way it can all be true. It means thinking for ourselves and letting common sense be our common practice. It also means turning off, tuning out, shutting down and letting our brains absorb in silence. Drowning out the quiet of life only leaves us overwhelmed. Silence allows us time to process and think about how we value or want to forget what we just absorbed.
Maybe THAT is the gift of this social distancing. It has given us the gift of time to think, process and decide how and what and when we want information to invade our lives. We are not victims, we are able to control our actions and our attitudes so it is time to start acting that way. Let us engage our own common sense and truly make it a common practice each and every day.