The Internet Is A Blessing And A Curse

How Digital Consumption Can Be Damaging

We live in an interesting and unique time. In the age of smartphones and easy internet access, many of us have access to a multitude of information at our fingertips. People have discovered history that hasn’t made the textbooks, more and more career fields have working opportunities that doesn’t require one to be fixated to a cubicle (plus new jobs that have been created because of the internet), and people are learning new skills without having to attend a traditional college. What a time to be alive.

Even though the internet has opened the doors to many opportunities, it has also opened to the door to some negative aspects as well.

Misinformation

Since it is now easier for one to create a website and/or social media fan page and push a specific, one can generate hundreds and thousands of like minded followers that fed a certain agenda 24/7. You see it all the time on platforms like Facebook, where fan pages promote a skewed and misleading perception in order to fit a specific narrative. It’s most commonly seen in the social, political, and religious sphere, which is coincidentally the three topics people try to avoid talking about in a public and/or professional setting because those types of conversations almost never end on a positive note. In a way, you can say these fan pages possess cult-like behavior. If you read the comments section of these fan pages and seek for the responses that differ from the groupthink, you will notice those are the people that are dragged into cyber hell for their “wrong” opinion. Take what you see on social media with a grain of salt. People need to realize that memes and five minute video clips are not scholarly sources. Sometimes I wish these popular fan pages would cite their sources…..BUT we know that will expose a lot of people.

Scammers

The internet has also created a platform of self proclaimed “experts” and “gurus” who are persuasive and charismatic enough to build a large loyal following. Many of them make a living selling products and courses that are usually filled with misinformation and empty promises. A good rule of thumb: if people are overemphasizing that fact if buy their product you will be promised the world and that you’ll get rich quick (looking at you network marketers and digital nomad “coaches”), then there’s a good chance that there’s a catch of some sort.

Over Consumption

Since the digital age has allowed people to come up with interesting ideas via internet and allowed them to make a living from it, many people are surfing the web in hopes to find ideas on how to thrive in this digital lifestyle (aka the “digital nomad movement”). There are literally so many ways to create an online platform and make money online. There’s also many written and video content that goes into each of the different ways and how to get into the industry. For someone who easily falls victim to the shiny object syndrome, this can become very overwhelming. One can become obsessed with finding ideas on the “next best thing,” and they’ll forget to act on it and try to produce something with all of their new found knowledge (this can also be a problem from reading too many personal development books as well).

Aside from personal development and business, people can still over consume simply by spending numerous hours on social media everyday. People can connect with others and share content/information through so many platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Medium, Vimeo, and various blogging and publication platforms. We are connected more than ever. Most people have more than one social media account, so people are constantly spending time switching from one app to the next consuming information and taking on various energies, which can lead to information overload.

With All Of This Being Said, What’s The Call To Action?

I guess the best solution, is to spend some time of your day unplugged from the cyber world for the sake of your sanity and health. Cut down the time spent on your phone, and replace it with an activity that doesn’t involve electronics. To those who are addicted to consuming information, take some time away from the internet and let your brain process all of the information that you consumed. Write what’s on your mind and maybe some ideas you can put into action based on what you learned. Another great solution is to go on a complete digital detox: no social media, blogs, or media outlets like the news. This is another great way to bring your mind at more ease and to not have your emotions easily manipulated.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :)