Informational Hygiene

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Informational Hygiene

Listen to “Informational Hygiene”.

We live in a world of severe information overload, where everyone has to process vast amounts of data on a daily basis. Just like eating, consuming information can indiscriminately make us sick. Therefore, we need to adopt the habits of information hygiene. 

Information is the biggest drug of the 21st century. To increase traffic and ratings, media houses share news which is entertaining, emotional, terrifying and most importantly, distracting. 

The urge to consume information is growing every day, and the current information overload surrounding the pandemic is driving people crazy. It is affecting the functionality and effectiveness of our brains, and most importantly, it affects our mental health.

Your mind will multiply and give back what you feed it. If you are constantly feeding it garbage, it will give you garbage in return, the same as junk food to your body.

Avoiding information is neither practical nor possible. However, there is a middle path, which is moderation. 

Here are some simple tactics to help you moderate the information you receive:

Be more selective and prioritize your information

By identifying which choices are worth extensive time and research and which aren’t, you free yourself up to make effective decisions when it counts. Be careful of misinformation from unreliable sources. Always do some research to find out where information comes from and why you are seeing it. Facebook, for example, will always show you the news that you are most likely to engage with, regardless of how reliable it is. 

Feel free to ignore information

Not all information matters. Plenty of information we encounter every day is of low quality or irrelevant. By allowing yourself the freedom to ignore new information, you can reduce the flow of info that leads so many of us to exist in a constant state of low-level anxiety.

Step away from the screen

Breaks are essential when it comes to increasing productivity because they renew our absorption capacity. 

The most important thing when taking a break is to stop staring at the screen. This is easier said than done for most of us. If you feel like you are unable to take your eyes off the screen for long enough to clear your mind, then try going outside. Do this every day for 5 minutes, get some fresh air and try to perceive your surroundings consciously.

Disconnect from news and social media

  • Turn off the notifications on your phone.
  • Do something fun like reading, listening to music or exercising.
  • Don’t read the news right before bedtime to help get a better night’s sleep.
  • Establish daily routines for self-care: work, eating, chores, leisure, family-time, reaching out to your community and proper sleep time.

Plan your activities

Making sure to plan time away from screens and being active keeps your mind moving. Go for a walk or run, do yoga or meditate, any activity which is not connected to your smart-phone can save your hours for real life.

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