My Information Diet

It was pretty easy for me to stop posting to Twitter and Facebook. It just kind of happened without ceremony many months ago. But dialing back my information consumption from social media, particularly Twitter, has been much more difficult.

I’m a lifelong news and information junkie, and for that, nothing beats Twitter. But there are two big problems with it. (OK, there are many more than two, but I’m going to focus on two.)

The first is that we’re going through a period in history in which the more you know about what’s going on, the less happy you are. Twitter consumption is still about 30 percent amazing for me. Interesting people that I can’t keep up with any other way. Great articles surfacing that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Play-by-play updates on interesting breaking news. But the other 70 percent is the world turned upside down. Disgusting behavior by people in power. Natural disasters. Mass casualty events. Hate and abuse. Personal struggles and pain.

In short, being an information junkie was a lot easier when there was more kindness and hope on display in the world.

But it’s also hard to walk away from. I really love that good 30 percent. And it also doesn’t feel right to put my head in the sand about the unpleasant things happening in world right now, even if they make me unhappy.

The second problem is that I’ve been feeling particularly scattered and uninspired creatively lately. I’d like to write more. I’d like to take more photographs. I’d like to improve my cooking. It used to be that I didn’t have the time. But lately I’m finding myself in moments when I do have the time and motivation, but lack the creative inspiration or clarity of mind. I’m sure that bombarding my brain with a firehose of information every day is a big reason why.

So, I’m going on an information diet. I’m not really sure how it’s going to work yet. But I’ll try to post some quick updates as I experiment with different aspects of it.

Doug Lane @douglane