Coping with Internet Overwhelm

June 9, 2014

I am not about to bash the internet. (How could I in good conscience? There's the whole blog thing, not to mention my beloved twitter and instagram...it would be downright hypocritical.)

With the whole thrive business, I am thinking a lot about habits that don't serve my quest for a tiny bit of space & calm (not total zen-- just a little calm). For instance, drinking cold press before work, when I know very well that more than half a cup of coffee is enough to make me loud and uncomfortably peppy-- like a cheerleader staring panicked at oncoming car headlights. Not good, I tell you! Too much internet consumption is another of these things.

I fall into a pit of internet-ness because...
1) I'm afraid of missing out (on your show, your smart information, that life-saving tip, those great curtains)
2) I'm searching for community
3) I'm in need of a distraction

Like I said before: this isn't an internet bash. I just get overwhelmed because there is SO MUCH INFORMATION, and I click around SO QUICKLY, and my attention span is shrinking. With twelve tabs open, I get that panic-y feeling, not too different from the cold press one. Also--

1) Creativity necessitates space, and mind wandering, and down time.
2) Inspiration is grand, but sometimes it's good to just put my energy into my own work and life, and stop admiring/getting distracted by someone else's. They'd want that, right?

Anyway, I did two things:
1) I lightened my blog/news/subscriptions down to about fifteen. No more following blogs "just incase I decide to find the perfect rug next year", etc... I went with: what am I excited/curious/fed/energized by today. If it made me tired or oddly self-conscious (should I know about Spring's new nail polish colors?), I ditched it.
2) I rekindled my love of Evernote, which is kind of like pinterest without the distraction of looking at other people's pins. I like it because it discourages the twelve-tabs-open-at-once thing-- if it's worth remembering/referencing/sharing later, I clip it.

Am I encouraging you to stop reading this blog? Maybe-- if it makes you feel tired or contributes to your overwhelm or distracts your from making your stuff. Also: I promise you won't miss much if you take a couple weeks away from Facebook. Your friends can call you to say they're engaged/pregnant/launching a show/having a good day/receiving an award, right?

How do you stay aware of and inspired by the world's internet contributions (there's lots to love!) without feeling overwhelmed? 

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