Have you noticed the insatiable need to process info on the internet, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? Have you ever gone down a YouTube wormhole only to emerge 22 cat videos and three hours later? You're definitely not alone, and that feeling actually has a name: infomania—the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information. And with peer pressure to never miss a email, news story, or TV show (no spoilers here!), it isn't long before it can start to feel overwhelming. While researchers are still trying to find the whys and the hows behind this fairly recent phenomenon, radio station WNYC is holding an open-source, weeklong experiment starting February 1 called Infomagical for anyone ready and willing to kick their constant info cravings to the curb.
It's almost no surprise to hear that as Americans, we consume almost 16 hours of media...per day! Studies have begun to reinforce that being bombarded with advertising, news stories, memes, GIFs, and viral videos is really starting to interrupt our ability to process and understand our thoughts. And as educators, our big, beautiful brains are arguably our most important assets. But, like most things in life, a little shift in perspective can go a long way to improve our mind's wellbeing. By setting information goals for ourselves (which you can do here), like becoming more knowledgeable about one particular subject—say, college and career readiness—we can start to tune out the distractions and start focusing on what really matters: our minds.