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Information diet

That’s what they call it nowadays. We’re bombarded by information left and right, coming in from dozens of news feeds and emails and facebook and twitter and linkedin. It overwhelms you into reading all off it to the point you have no time to DO anything. So what to do? Cut down on the information feed.

Most of what flows into people’s brains on a daily basis is pure junk. It’s not worth reading or listening to. It takes up your time and makes you less productive. So you’ve gotta consume less information to be more productive.

Because in the end, information doesn’t help you. People try to know more and more in the mistaken belief that knowing more will help you. It doesn’t. Not if you know a lot about something irrelevant.

Relevant information helps you. So it means you need to identify what is important to you so that you will only take in information on that. I personally stayed off facebook for 4 or 5 months. Granted, part of the reason was that I forgot my password, it was still a good experiment. Nowadays I log on for 5 minutes every week or so. I don’t need an hourly update on other people’s lives unless it’s on my sister and my brother-in-law who are overseas.

I don’t read my emails much anymore either. It’s not like there’s ever anything uber urgent anyway. Whatever comes my way can usually wait one or two days at least.

It frees up a lot more time to do the things that I value in my life like bonding with people face-to-face instead of online, and being with my family, and also simply relaxing. I can’t believe how tense some people’s shoulders are.

And you know what it even gives me time to actually study some useful things instead.

Try it. I know ramadhan is over, but fasting doesn’t just mean food; it can mean information too.

5 thoughts on “Information diet

    1. Lutfi Post author

      🙂 Thanks.

      But it's true though. Sometimes I waste so much time just processing all this useless information that it really annoys me for having read it in the first place. (It's also annoying that people are willing to post up such inane details of their life.)

  1. lubna

    Haha, I hope the irony of my comment wasn't lost on you. 😉

    I agree with you. I think this is what Imam Suhaib Webb inadvertently meant when he came here to speak. We have so much information coming in right and left but there's very little adab.

    Oh but I like sharing inane details like: "Today is my first day in court as an Advocate and Solicitor!" and people go "Yay you! Don't panic!"
    It's a great feeling to share happiness with your friends, and unfortunately the fastest (and cheapest) way to share is online. It's just the reality of today. The trick is to filter out the things you don't want to read, ie statuses, who planted what on Farmville, who sent who a plant, who hit who with a pillow, who needs a maid, personality quizzes, etc. Complete waste of time, I agree.

    But I have friends who post statements that really make you think, ponder, question, and before you know it there's an incredible online debate going on. It's amazing. This, in addition to heartwarming videos, daily Hadiths, book/movie suggestions.

    And as long as the online world acts as a means of assisting connection rather than the MAIN means of connection, as long as balance is maintained, as long as people don't take your profile or photos as a true, unabridged version of you really are…I don't see harm in it.

    Hang on, how did I go from agreeing to now agreeing to qualifying my agreement? Hmm.

    Ps. Watch The Social Network.

    1. lubna

      I retract my postscript.

      BBC on The Social Network:
      "Perhaps the strangest thing about The Social Network is that it has got nothing to do with Facebook as a phenomenon…Those looking for a rumination on social networking and our journey towards a more connected world will have to keep looking."

      My mistake.

      1. Lutfi Post author

        Hahaha. I only just realized the irony in your comment after you mentioned it. Lol.

        Hmm, yes, there is that aspect of online tweeting that I wasn't thinking of when I wrote this post.

        I agree though, as long as it simply supports real life connections, it's fine. But that's not the only issue. It also eats up SO MUCH of people's time which takes away from much more meaningful things they could be doing. You know, read a book. Or meet a friend. Or even just call up a friend you haven't talked to for a long time for 5 min. I swear, it's so much more meaningful than poking them or even posting something on their wall.

        Yes, it's a fast way of sharing, but because it's so fast and easy, it tends to replace all the other ways.

        I'll still check out the Social Network though, just to know what it is.

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