Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Our Infinite Internet - Help Me!
Our wonderful internet has enabled us to access a wealth of information and entertainment. It’s an infinite resource of data. But how much choice and information do we need?
Do you sometimes feel a subtle excitement and eagerness just before you switch on your smart phone or power on your laptop? Who has e-mailed me? Who has said what on Twitter? What’s the latest bad news stories from around the world?
At first, feasting our mind on all of these nuggets of information is very satisfying and stimulating. However, after a while we get a bit restless and bored. What started off being a satisfying experience soon turns into an unsatisfying one.
Nearly every aspect of our lives has been transformed into an infinite digital universe.
Before the internet, we were limited to how much music we could listen to by the size of our record collection. Everyone now has access to, at the touch of their fingertips, nearly every piece of music ever recorded in the history of the world. Where do you start?
Thousands of online gambling websites exist and it’s oh so easy to get in. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, come on in and win some money! Twenty years ago we would have needed to travel to a casino or a bookmaker in order to gamble.
This is the biggest fix on the internet and potentially the most toxic and damaging one. In comparison, a pornographic magazine has a beginning and an end.
We can read hundreds of articles on the same event or story. Whatever you are interested in, it’s there. Subjects you didn’t think you were interested in, well you are now! Each of us has a virtual library of a billion books!
Many people have heard of Bitcoin but are stunned when they find out there are 1500 other digital currencies in existence. If one then becomes interested and involved in the crypto space, it soon becomes completely overwhelming and potentially addictive. I honestly didn’t intend to be a forex trader!
Charities and petitions
Many people are passionate about causes that matter to them. You start receiving e-mails from a couple of organisations but over the course of a few months you wonder how it is that you are now receiving five new petitions a day and updates from twenty organisations every week!
In contrast to being passive or reactive on the internet, we should also be proactive. Create something; music, photography, a story. When something authentic is created to the best of our ability, it is more rewarding and meaningful for us. If we receive positive feedback or even earn money from it, even better!
We must balance how much time we spend online with contrasting activities. I think switching off our phones for a few hours, an afternoon or even a whole day is extremely beneficial. Balance is key; we must strive for balance in our lives which ultimately derives from a balanced mind.
The infinite nature of the internet presents a huge challenge to our mental health. It has the potential to draw us into areas that fixate us. Many people are vulnerable to addictive tendencies and the internet acts as a catalyst for addictions to manifest.
Are the negative side effects that the infinite internet creates, one of the challenges humanity must overcome in order for us to be more consciously aware?
One thing is for certain, the internet is rewiring our brains.