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Internet Overload

It’s the weekend, and a long weekend at that if you live in the United States.  Monday is a holiday, which means that people generally scatter offline for three days.  They may post an update to Twitter or throw up a picture on Instagram, but my rss reader has been a little thin this weekend.

My rss reader rarely feels emaciated.  This is because I am constantly replenishing it with new blogs.  Sure, bloggers stop writing, but new ones step into their place, and I add them to my reader.  But even so, long weekends mean that tumbleweeds roll through the semi-empty reader; the only posts peeking up are the ones from large sites giving me 10 new uses for popsicles and 5 reasons I should apply extra sunscreen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with good, old-fashioned, informative posts.  I can read them for a bit, but after the third post on the topic du jour (is it something asinine that Trump said or a new meme sweeping the Internet?), I get tired.

I like personal blogs; especially posts that make me think or see the world from a different point of view.  I’m willing to wait until after the weekend to get them again.

I recently read a post on internet overload.  It stems from the fear that you’ll miss out on an important fact if you skip over a story or take a break from Twitter for a few days.  That scrolling past more is better than pausing on a single thought:

A person’s fear of being left behind because he failed to consume enough data may start to outweigh the need to understand exactly why you are consuming this data in the first place. Every minute of the day, Facebook users share 2.5 million pieces of content, Twitter users tweet 300,000 times, YouTube users upload 72 hours of video, and 200 million emails are sent.

That is a lot of content.

Knowing so much exists is somewhat freeing because clearly no person can consume everything being produced.  It’s impossible, so there is no harm in taking a step back and not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by the deluge of tweets and status updates and photos and videos.  It’s okay to not tap into the zeitgeist for a long weekend because the zeitgeist will still be there on Tuesday, churning out more things to read or gaze at or share.

It’s funny; I get weighed down by tweets.  I get overwhelmed by photos on Facebook.  I get tired of reading article after article about how I’m doing everything wrong, or the latest election news, or how the world is going to hell.

But I never get internet overload from personal blogs.  From hearing people’s stories.

Sometimes the stories are so sad that I need to step back for a moment to catch my breath, but I never walk away from personal blogs feeling as if my brain is buzzing and I can only skim the surface and no longer dive deeply into words.

Hope you come back from the long weekend and write about it.  Or tell us what you’re doing to relax today.

9 comments

1 Nicoleandmaggie { 07.03.16 at 8:18 am }

We have a real post scheduled for Monday.

2 Cristy { 07.03.16 at 9:42 am }

The blogosphere always seems to slow down over summer, especially around holidays. Which is interesting because I think this period is filled with emotional landmines. Maybe the heat is to blame or the vacation mentality?

Working on a post and will get it up soon. Promise

3 loribeth { 07.03.16 at 12:07 pm }

It is also a long weekend here in Canada, albeit our national holiday was Friday. 😉 I spent yesterday helping my SIL & nephew’s fiancée’s mother put together party favours & game prizes, etc., for the upcoming bridal shower, while the husbands watched Italy vs Germany in the EuroCup soccer tournament. I think we need today to recover. 😉 Thinking about what to post for #MM. 😉

4 torthuil { 07.03.16 at 3:07 pm }

I totally agree about being overwhelmed by content and the kind of content specifically that overwhelms. Personal stories and photos, whether social media or blogs, rarely tire me out. But I get easily tired of memes, re-posted rants, and even most news stories. I’m really tempted sometimes to write a comment on people’s memes saying: “do you have any idea how irritating this is and how you are completely failing to be persuasive?” But of course I don’t. I do not suffer any anxiety or guilt from ignoring the Internet. I am not on Twitter because I know it would irritate me. My only issue is that every time I come back from a period of ignoring things, the Internet world seems more fractured, ridiculous, and angry than before and I feel like I’m losing my ability to even fathom what is going on with people.

As for what I’m doing to relax today, I have an idea for a crocheted egg toy that I really want to make. If I get it done I will blog about it tomorrow.

5 Mali { 07.04.16 at 12:35 am }

No long weekend here, of course. But I can relate, as I found myself desperately saving articles to Pocket over the weekend, scared that I might miss out on the info included in some of those Ten Tips or Five Ways posts. (Invariably, I have to confess I’m disappointed by the lack of information in those posts, and so will probably delete them before I even read them!)

The preference for personal stories is the humanitarian in you, as well as the novelist I suspect. I love the variety I have in my reading – novels, blogs, political/psychological/travel articles, etc etc.

And it’s Monday afternoon here now, so I’ve been to the gym, and posted both my Microblog Mondays posts, so now I have to go find a lemon layer cake recipe. Today has not been a relaxing day!

6 No Baby Ruth { 07.04.16 at 2:57 am }

Those statistics are staggering. At first I read them as “every day,” not “every minute,” and then when I realized the actual stat I was floored. It’s incredible and overwhelming, indeed. I like what you say about not getting overwhelmed by personal stories. It’s very true. We’re sort of wired that way – to care about those we actually know, more than others, and in a way this aligns with that.

Anyway, not a long weekend here, but we were out of town anyway, so I was mostly offline. Glad I didn’t miss much. 😉

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 07.04.16 at 9:39 am }

I’ve noticed a slowing down, too. I read less, and I write less. Not by design, I put up only 3 posts in June! I was out doing stuff and not always worrying about documenting it. It was oddly liberating.

I put up a post today, though (4th of July). It’s one I’d been thinking about for awhile, one that I’m a bit nervous about.

I love your love of stories large and small. Happy Independence Day!

8 Jenn P { 07.04.16 at 9:39 am }

I’m taking a facebook break today, so of course I am tapping on my wordpress reader instead. I feel the same as you about reading personal stories. I found blogs over 6 years ago and fell in love with them when I was recovering from surgeries. I still remember those writers and their families though many have since stopped writing. It was the beginning of my research into how to become a parent and so when I started that journey, it felt right for me to blog about it.

9 Justine { 07.05.16 at 12:57 pm }

Yes. I get overwhelmed by the data dump, too … so much so that I don’t even know where to begin. But what I long for when I’m feeling overwhelmed is a single friend, a single story. Exactly like the personal blogs as they used to be.

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