Ten Steps to Face Information Explosion

by Swami Prajnanananda
Created: 24 Aug, 2010

Gone are the days of morning coffee with daily news paper. With internet browsing, face book, twitter, blogs and iPhone we have entered into a new world. The 'web' is rightly called so as it is woven around us and there is no way we can get out of it. Anything new brings with it advantages as well as hazards. Already we find a number of news items about increase in incidents of divorce, robbery, misappropriation etc. due to information sharing in public sites. When cinema was introduced, in some conservative societies, children were beaten for disobeying parents to watch movies in cinema houses. Now, families sit together in front of TV at home and watch movies. Things keep changing. In the recent past, great revolution has taken place in the way of communication. With BlackBerry and iPhone, information is at your palm anywhere any time. There are attempts to further increase the speed, quality and quantity of information that we can share. There is no end to this. Where are we heading to? What are the gains and losses in the process? How are we preparing ourselves and our children to face this speed in communication? No one can stop the scientific progress whether it is good or bad for the society. The best thing one can do is to know to live with the changes and take the best and leave the rest. Here are ten steps to face information explosion and make the best out of it.

  1.  Filter information
    The most urgent problem of today is prevention of unnecessary information. On TV you have commercials, at your door steps you have leaflets, and on internet you have all kinds of ads. The first thing one need to learn is to employ filters at every inlet of information.
  2. Measure the time spent on gadgets
    Addiction to information and entertainment is dominating human life now. Measure the time you spend on TV, mobile phone, internet. Fix a time limit and try not to exceed the limit. This should be applicable to all members of the family. It is better to maintain a written record to review oneself.
  3. Allot time for human interaction
    The time spent with family members is becoming lesser and lesser with every passing day. Every member of the family is spending more time with PC, TV, mobile phone etc. even while at home. Unless we deliberately allot time to interact with other human beings, our tendency to interact with gadgets will keep growing. This is most unfortunate as no gadget can ever replace human beings. Having dinner together and playing with children help us understand each other and make life more meaningful.
  4. Help children to handle information
    If you really want your children to be secured and safe, give them the right training to handle information. The next generation is going to have sharper, faster information invasion. Perhaps the most important education your children now need is to resist unnecessary and harmful information. Children may not obey you. But they will certainly imitate you, especially the wrong things that you do. The best contribution you can make to your children is not wealth but being a role model in handling information inlets like TV, mobile phone etc.
  5. Don't be a couch potato
    There is a lot of talk about health hazards due to excessive use of TV, mobile phone, PC etc. There are arguments and counter arguments. But it is simple common sense that anything used excessively is bad for health. Sitting in a place and looking at PC or TV is certainly going to affect your blood circulation. Human body is meant for both thinking and action. It is good to spend time with nature-beach, mountain, riverside, lake anything that is possible. Spend time playing games, watching birds, admiring animals, walking in woods. This is good for health and keeps you away from gadgets.
  6. Watch your budget
    Keep an eye on your budget and check how much you spend on getting useless information in the name of communication or entertainment. Intelligent use of money and time on information and entertainment is helpful, but excessive use damages both mind and health. Irrespective of income levels, balancing the spending between basic needs, essential communication, information and entertainment is important for a healthy family.
  7. Spend time with you alone
    Ask yourself how much time you have spent alone without any gadgets around you. Even today there are people in some parts of the world live without electricity, TV, internet etc. Just imagine you are in a forest alone-simply nature and you. Still you can live and live peacefully. So take out time to be alone- Just you with you. This gives you inner strength. Realize your power as sentient and intelligent being. All materials around you are just dead without you. You need exclusive time with you to realize your power. You need to deliberately get away from the world of information to see your inner strength at least a few hours in a week.
  8. Beware of information hazards
    Always be alert on information hazards- For example, food and health information may be specific to a particular society and geography, may not be applicable to you. Tempting information may distract and eat away your time. Certain information may have deep psychological effects on you and spoil your day. It Is important to have training to look for the correct information from standard sites and choose the required data to prevent distraction and wastage of time. It is useful to have open discussion with children and guide them.
  9. Protect personal information
    People in limelight are thrown out overnight due to leakage of personal information. Intruding in personal life has become a trend today. Taking care of personal information today is as important as health insurance. All your acts to become popular must always be with precaution on information that you share.
  10. Keep the control with you
    People in previous generations had to struggle to get information. Now our struggle is to restrict information. Today, the ability to prevent unnecessary information is a great value. Get information, but not get lost in it. Keep the control with you and make the best out of it.

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