Noise

I have been aware for a while how much added "noise" there is in my life and how it affects my life. Up until this point I have lacked the courage to do something about it. The noise that I am referring to is all the excess conversations that we hear/see, that bounce off our brains everyday. Think about it. There are the conversations that we are personally involved in, there is the chatter on the radio between songs, there is the nonstop talking when the television is on, there are the nonstop tweets and status updates. The last category is where I have the biggest problem. If I need some down time and do not feel like talking, then I chose to spend some quiet time by myself. Or I can easily turn off the radio or tv if there is not anything good on. But social media, particularly Facebook, I have a hard time "turning off." After all, it is the way people stay connected today. And there is the fear that you might miss something important if you are not logged in. But in reality, in between the few and far pieces of important news, there is a lot of "chatter". All this chatter is bombarding our brains every time an alert goes off on our phones and every time we check our newsfeed. It is a wonder that we can focus on anything anymore. We have grown accustom to nonstop news, nonstop tweets, nonstop updates, nonstop noise. How are we supposed to think for ourselves when our brains are too busy trying to process all this input that it is constantly receiving? In addition to the information overload on my brain, I have found that there is such a thing as too much information. It can be very revealing the things that we say and share on Facebook. I now know some things about my friends and family that I would rather not know, due to Facebook. I think everyone has had that moment when you saw or read something on Facebook and thought, "I can't believe they said or did that!" And there are some pictures that we would rather have not seen. :) Of course, there is all the good that comes out of social media too. Sometimes learning more about a friend can strengthen that relationship. And it can keep you in touch with family and friends that live far away. But the problem is that between the good moments, there is a lot of noise. And the difference between the noise on the radio or tv and Facebook is that you know that commercial breaks typically run about 2 minutes. So you can chose to mute that noise until what you are interested in (the music or show) comes back on. But on Facebook there is not that option. You have to take the good with the bad or disconnect from it all. And in a day and age when it seems like everyone is on Facebook, the idea of disconnecting seems isolating.

So what to do? I have already tried taking a week off from Facebook from time to time. And that helps until I log back in again. I have deleted the app from my phone and turned off alerts so that I'm not being bombarded. I have set a time each day that I check in once a day. All good options for controlling the nonstop barrage of information, at least until I log in again. Do I dare delete my account and not look back? I know that if I do then there will be important things that I miss. But I will also "miss out" on the inconsequential things too. And I will be gaining more time and space in my thoughts to think about the things that I want to and to think about the things that are important to me. After all, life is meant to be lived and it is hard to live your own life when you are busy watching someone else live theirs.