Filtering Out The Noise

In case you’ve switched off, or reading my blog for the first time, you will have noticed that I am struggling to use social media in all of its forms – but particularly Twitter. The constant moving nature of the service, coupled with its instance on surfacing the very worst of that constantly flowing information, leaves me feeling exhausted and upset at the world. Sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with all that is going on and that’s because I simply don’t need to.

Social media puts millions of people in front of our face every minute of everyday. Meaning that you can easily communicate with more people than ever before in human history. The bad news is, they can also communicate with you, and the noise can become too much very quickly. Filtering out the noise and getting to the important things easily is one of the most useful skills to learn if you want to live on the web, and lets be honest in this day and age you have to.

What may seem interesting and important now may be completely irrelevant and uninteresting in a few days. – Christian Bager Bach Houmann

The millions of people in front of you can lure you into a false sense of what is important. If 1% of Twitter gets upset at something that’s million of people, but if 1% of your fiends did it wouldn’t be important at all. Without constant mindful thought, the large scale of social media can dangerously push you down rabbit holes to taking in information that simply doesn’t matter. It has a habit of portraying a false senses of importance and urgency towards topics that in very short order become unimportant. However it is only you that can decide what is really important to you.

I find that saving things to read later helps a lot, allowing me to delete articles that no longer interest me when I get around to catching up. Leaving some space between discovery and reaction often dulls the urgency felt to topics and also allows me to get a much fuller picture of what actually goes on. Only then will I try and formulate my thoughts on topics that matter, often in the form of a new note in Obsidian.

Writing about the things that matter and the things that I learn is huge. This doesn’t have to be blogging, although that would be great, but just writing something down is key. mUch like having a second brain for tasks — journaling, making notes in a system, or starting a full on knowledge tree will help to filter noise and has the added benefit of helping to retain much more important information.

The constant need to publish all of our half baked thoughts to anyone that will listen is not a new idea. It has existed almost as long as humans have existed. The only things that has changed is the scope of communication and the availability of the platforms. The internet is not to blame for the pressure we all feel, but some simple things do help with cutting down the noise. Being clear about the things that really matter and being aware when you are being sold something different is key.

2 Comments

  1. @gr36 I tried Twitter a couple of times, it was the noise level that drove me away each time, coupled with the time and energy it was sucking from me in order to dry and down down the noise. Last time was mid-2010s, I dread to think what it would be like now.

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