Brief Instructions for Overcoming the Anxiety of Informational AbundanceShare
The Internet is like a perpetual monsoon of information. How to survive and thrive within the torrent?
1/ The Internet results in a world of informational abundance—more information than we could ever process, from a dizzying number and variety of sources.
2/ Assertion: This abundance is catalyzing the realization of more diverse, complex, and fragmented human identities/worldviews than have ever existed.
3/ We are becoming fluid mosaics comprised of innumerable micro-experiences and shards of information from a near-endless and ever-growing number of sources.
4/ As we swim through numerous intermelding oceans of ideology, intention, culture, and perspective, near-infinite bits of information from countless contexts and belief systems are filtered by our minds and synthesized into a vast patchwork tapestry of identity/worldview.
6/ One must choose the anxiety of closing oneself off to informational abundance or the anxiety of opening oneself up to it.
7/ The anxiety of closing oneself functions as follows: One maintains an obstinate tribalism and false certainty in the face of mountains of evidence of one’s worldview’s incompleteness, resulting in severe cognitive dissonance, a fierce need to always be “right,” and a vague, almost-unconscious, gnawing sense that one is actually a fraud.
8/ Contrarily, the anxiety of opening oneself functions in the following way: One admits that one’s worldview is incomplete—that one actually “knows” very little in an absolute sense—and begins attempting to refine/expand one’s worldview to account for new information; in an age of informational abundance, one quickly notices that this entails changing one’s mind in subtle or significant ways all the time, every day; this process can be overwhelming and unsettling, especially at first.
9/ The only way to overcome the anxiety entirely (not that I have) is to embrace flux of identity/worldview; to accept deeply the idea of “grey pilling” oneself forevermore; to relinquish the need for the security of a static, unchanging identity/worldview; and to see the beauty and honesty in doing so.
10/ If one can accept a fluid, ever-changing state of being and open oneself up to an unending process of refining and rearranging one’s worldview/being, one may find a certain rapture in the Internet’s eternal wellspring of new information/experiences; one may find a spectacular opportunity to explore, to remain forever curious, and to make peace with the immense uncertainty inherent in the human condition.