Too Much Information


Katherine Sharafinski

It's time to start filtering out the unnecessary information.

Katherine Sharafinski, Co-Editor

Controversy and injustice create endless material for media outlets. Of course, the media also reports the news, uplifting events, and interesting phenomena. But take a minute to think about just how many people report and discuss the world’s problems. Fox News and even newer conservative platforms like the Blaze TV or the Daily Wire are all included in this category. Think of every individual commentator. Laura Ingraham. Ben Shapiro. Allie Stuckey. Tucker Carlson. Michael Knowles. And that’s just a fraction of the conservative side.

Take a minute to think about how much you listen to them.

I would never argue that the work political and cultural commentators do is wrong.. I listen to Ben Shapiro nearly every day, and writing will always be part of my life in one way or another. This piece is a commentary on culture. However, there is a significant danger of over-exposing ourselves to this content.

The term “outrage culture” isn’t new. It’s very easy to be influenced and emboldened by everything we hear to a fault. But I believe that the problem isn’t just that Americans, liberal and conservative, are hyper-reactive to political and cultural crises.

The problem is that Americans are so unconsciously invested in these things that this information occupies too much mental space. Even those who view this content in the best way possible– as a way to develop and approach new ideas or learn about old ones– can spend too much time reading or listening to it.

The commentary content business has become political and cultural entertainment for so many Americans. We listen to it because we want to be informed, and we enjoy being informed.

Contrast this to other forms of entertaining content. When I can’t listen to politics anymore, I often turn to my favorite history podcast. Recently, I began listening to a five-minute podcast Before Breakfast in the mornings after prayer. The host discusses time-management tips in a calm, positive, and motivational manner. She encourages listeners to live smarter.

My thoughts and feelings while listening to Before Breakfast differ extremely from those I experience while hearing Allie Stuckey disclose the evils of the prosperity gospel or Ben Shapiro share his predictions for a primary election ten months away. In reality, I don’t need to listen to either of those topics, and an increased understanding of them is just that. It doesn’t add anything else to my life.

Of course, Americans should all be informed citizens. But do we ever stop to think about exactly what this information should include? Perhaps we should be more informed about our relationships, our dreams, and our spiritual growth.

Maybe then we’d have less controversy and injustice to talk about, and that would be a good thing, right?