When the information finds us unprepared
We live in a world where access to information is common and abundant, where there are no longer permanent theoretical doubts. If someone is arguing about something, we can verify it in a moment through Google, but what is really happening when we review this information? How can we decide so fast the correct information having so many "experts" providing their opinions?
Everyone has the opportunity to both see and expose their different points of view, to the point of being overwhelming the amount of information we have. Any questions we type will give us at least one full page of links to different web sites with opinions, giving preference to the ones that have more visits and keywords.
There is too much information at our disposal, to the point that we must instinctively filter its content, looking for what we consider "vital" or "correct", elements that verify our preconceptions around the subject according to the context of our previous knowledge, adapting not only the information that we choose over the rest, but how we understand it, making the same extract to be interpreted in different ways in the minds of different people, generating multiple points of view to of the same object.
All this information attacks us from different avenues, mostly because of the different habits that the human being has generated with new technologies (such as search engines, Wikipedia, social networks), but don’t let this confuse you, there are more elements in the board.
First of all, we have the virtual world transmitting constantly with new blogs and different social networks, which gives a voice to everyone who has access to the internet. We do not question the veracity of the information if we like it and we reject it is extremely different to our point of view. If they have opinions of "experts" we accept the publication more easily without doing an in-depth analysis since that would consume us more time. We filter the information not so much to learn, but to confirm a point of view that we have in favor, giving strength to our arguments and words to counter argue. In that same world we have a world of workshops, courses, trainings and virtual masteries that offer all the tools available to develop the human technical potential, making something particular to happen. If we are not prepared with realistic expectations of our current times and capacities, he will simply be collecting these courses and will feel overwhelmed, depressed because many people did the course and it could not gather enough energy to finish it, and in many cases frustrated, causing the opposite that the workshops really wanted.
In the natural world it is even more palpable due to the limitations of our body, forcing that filter. We receive so much sensory information at the same time that our brain can’t process it entirety immediately, leaving aside more than 99% of it (that information is not lost, we just do not fully capture and process it) and only receiving comprehensively what we consider most relevant at the moment. A simple example is when we are arriving at a place where we want to go but we have never gone there before, we tend to lower the sound of the radio to give priority to the visual information and not the auditory one.
Now, if we add our previous knowledge to that filter conditioned by our past experiences, the information we perceive is even more conditioned. The Rome experienced by an architect is very different from that of a chef or any tourist. They will be more aware of the information that is familiar to them, enjoying the magnificent buildings full of history, the smells of Italian cuisine or nothing in particular, just the atmosphere.
The same happens when we experience our life without realizing how we are feeling each moment and how the people around us feel. A person who can’t understand the things he feels will live a life completely different from one in tune. It is the essential difference between an optimist and a pessimist, both people receive the same information but due to their past experiences, they decide how it will affect their next moment, day or week.
If we let the emotional information be a part of the 99%, it will become an "external" factor to our periphery influencing us (either positively or negatively) and by not being able to channel it, we could be missing important opportunities or letting very dangerous threats pass, whether for ourselves or for the people around us.
It is said that knowledge is power, but if we do not apply that knowledge, it will end up being obsolete information, overshadowed by the immense wave of "misinformation". If we train ourselves to process this information and learn how to put it in a practical way, we can not only enjoy each moment more, but also disarm the main emotions that affect us negatively if we do not know how to control them.
If we are able to see what elements of our day to day activate our discomforts, these will not increase the situations of a potential attack of anger, because we would be able to resolve them preemptively in an assertive way, and we will avoid explode or imploding, damaging unrelated people. If we are aware of the things that surround us and our capabilities, we will be able to reduce our anxiety because we could critically evaluate what activates it and its real potential to harm us. If we can realize the things that make us happy, we could set rewarding, real and short-term goals that would help us slowly but surely to improve if we were depressed and unmotivated.
In this world there is a lot of information literally at the reach of our hand, so much so that it would be impossible for us to learn everything in thousands of lives. Who could tell us what information is really worth learning? Is it worth reading information to compare ourselves with people we do not know but who are enjoying vacations? Are the celebrity shows more valuable than the mood of my study / work partner? Will it change how I’m seen by others in arguments if I form opinions based on the words of others?
Realizing our priorities and motivations, our preferences and what is really making us feel how we do is the first step and one of the most important to be able to fully enjoy our lives.
If we don’t take advantage of the things that surround us and constantly compare what we could have by seeing it on a screen, we will only end up wanting more and getting less.
One thing that you could incorporate into your routine is to take a brief moment of a few minutes in the morning of reflection before opening the door of information (a.k.a. the cell phone), and ask yourself: What would I like to learn today? How will I receive that information? Is it worthwhile to seriously consider certain opinions? Should I reconsider something I have learned before? How will I let certain things affect me?
Information will come, whether we like it or not, the important thing is not to feel overwhelmed by all that misinformation, but to be able to swim in that stream effectively, managing to end the day being a better person and not feeling frustrated by things that we can’t change by comparing ourselves unnecessarily with others.
Enjoy the day and the things it gives you.