Information Overload

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Don’t be guilty of information overload. Remember knowledge is worth nothing if it is not being used.

Be careful. We can spend hours on the internet moving from one blog to the next (even though we love having you here) and not feel guilty about the time we spend doing it because we have convinced ourselves we are learning something but if you spend hours learning how to clean but don’t get up and do it, your knowledge is worth nothing.

Sometimes I wonder, when we feel sluggish or weighed down with burdens if, at times, it could be from information overload. I the same way we over load ourselves on a big meal at Thanksgiving. We keep loading ourselves up with more knowledge and because we don’t use it we start to drag. I the same way we take a walk after Thanksgiving dinner if we put something we have learned into practice we feel the burden lifted and we feel invigorated and excited.

Get up and put something you have just learned into practice today.



photo by: xtheowl


  1. Jess says

    Wow. You are so right! I have been taking a break from Facebook for this very reason. I think we assume that we have to try and know all that there is on any given day/topic. The fact is that our world has become a place where you could sit and “learn” (or just be filling your mind with useless information/scare tactics) every minute and never reach the end of the information available! The previous generations didn’t have to have self-control in this area, but I think it is essential to having peace in our minds. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

  2. says

    Great advice 😉 :) I’ve actually started doing that, just saving a few blog posts instead of every one that interests me. I’ll implement the idea that I’ve learned, then look at the next one :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  3. Ashley says

    This is a very good point. I know I have been guilty of looking over blogs for hours and neglecting my responsibilities at home. However, it is a relief and blessing to be able to have something “constructive” to do on those really bad fibro days (like today). It makes it easier for me to bear the intense pain, overwhelming fatigue, and “fibro fog”. Not sure how much info I retain though. Thank goodness I can bookmark important pages to re-read later. :)

    • says

      I know what you are talking about Ashley. When I write these things it is usually for “normal” people. I do the same thing when I am sick. Also when I am normal I don’t watch much tv but when I am having a bad or sick day I just veg in front of the tv to try and dull the pain so I know what you mean.

  4. Bea says

    Also, everything you read is not always true or beneficial. Many things are slanted to get you to think a particular way. Much news reporting is like that. One good thing I did learn in school is the sentence, “Just because it’s written in black and white doesn’t mean it’s true.” That is something I never forgot, and found to be true. Too much junk knowledge causes stress too.

  5. Michelle says

    I agree! I spend too much trying to find as much information as possible on solutions, ideas, recipes, etc.

    I’m going to try and limit how much research I do for every little thing. Hmm, and now that I think about it, I’m going give up my excess use of the internet for Lent.

    Thank you for posting this!

  6. Bea says

    I was thinking about this last night and remembered someone once told me that God is the only one meant to know everything. We can’t do it even if we try. There is conflicting information on just about every subject. Pros and cons. People for and against. So it just makes it harder to make decisions when you are always looking things up. Wastes precious time too. I think the loveliest people are simple people, who have simple faith, and just believe without reseaching every little thing about their faith. Some of the most uneducated people in previous generations had such simple faith and peace. They believed God would help when they prayed, and knew it wasn’t totally up to them to bring about a solution anyway. They counted on God. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom too. Wisdom comes directly from God. You don’t need books or the internet. God gives it to you through prayer.

    • K says


      Your reply was so well said and so beautifully written. Thank you for the reality check. Can’t tell you how I needed it. I spend way too much time researching, reading blogs (why do I trust people I don’t know and who are probably out to make money) and getting further away from myself. I believe we all have what we need within us…now I just need to stop the distractions and live from my soul.

      Living on a Dime is a great site for tips on frugal living, and I really appreciate Jill and Tawra’s ideas. Other sites, however, make you feel stupid and scared if you don’t follow their eating/financial/spiritual/etc advice.

      The internet is indeed a dangerous place where we can get lost, and where we can lose more than just time.

      • K says

        I know this is an older post, but this follow-up comment is timely, considering the situation on the east coast right now. I lost power last night – thanks, Sandy! 😉 – and it was out until early this afternoon. Even when it came back on, my internet service (don’t have a tv, so no cable to worry with) was out for a while longer.

        So with no electricity or internet for most of the day, I accomplished A LOT. I swapped my summer/winter clothes, tidied up my home, cleaned (all except vacuuming), addressed my “fall letter” cards (I don’t send Christmas cards), read, and made hot coffee by boiling water in my gas fireplace. I got so much done because I wasn’t sucked into the internet vortex. What a great lesson learned!

        I really enjoy Living on a Dime, and I often browse older postings, but that doesn’t take much time. It is the undisciplined surfing that makes time disappear, to be lost forever.

        Thanks so much for this posting, as it is such a good reminder that reading and reading is nothing. Doing and living are everything. :-)

        • says

          Very well put K. It scares me how much control the internet and things have over people and what it is doing to their life and relationships both.

          So glad you have your power back on and sounds like you are doing ok. I have been concerned about so many of our East coast readers and how they are all doing. I didn’t know if any of them could check in with us to let us know if they are ok or not because I figured so many had lost their power so it is good to know at least some of your are doing ok.

          • K says

            Thanks, Jill! My area didn’t get hit too hard, but some areas really have it bad. I feel so sorry for them, as it will take a while to recover. I, too, hope they are all doing okay and will get back to normal soon.

            Also, a hearty thanks to you and Tawra for such a great site! Your suggestions and comments contain so much common sense and practical ideas for all times, not just economically challenging ones. Please keep up the good work!


  7. Grandma says

    I catagorize my blogs.
    Dime is for fun and conversations.
    TBnews network is to agravate many other readers as I post my thoughts on the subjects.
    Living and working in China I do for my son as it is his blog. I go and tell him where his spelling and gramar are wrong.
    Lets get Happy is for the same reason but he also has great advice. I guess I say that because a lot of it is what I taught him all his life. Other seem to really enjoy reading and commenting on the site. It is nice to see your children doing things well.
    I have my own blog which I am attempting to get popular. It is called What does grandma know. It is full of original childrens stories and advice for grandparents and parents alike.
    I also have 1 political blog that is fun to read and discuss with my husband.
    Other than those it is newspapers. If we got all of them in print the house would be over flowing.
    Don’t have TV or radio except in the car and even then it isn’t all that often. We prefer music to chatter.
    blogs take about 3 hours out of my day longer when I hurt and need distractions.
    overload? probably but not enough to make me stop.

  8. Rachel says

    We turned off our t.v. about 7 months ago, and it has made a real difference in our lives. We do have a radio, but I usually only listen to the news ans weather in the morning and then turn it off the rest of the day. I may turn it back on in the evening for the news. I feel much more calm, and I accomplish so much more. My husband never read anything but the occasional magazine, but he now reads books. We both read our Bible every day. I find that being in a restaurant with a t.v. too much! I would like to have t.v. for the news, weather, and PBS, but this has been so good for us.

    • says

      good going Rachel.
      We got rid of TV about 3 years ago. The only times I miss it are when the Christmas movies are on. But I have found a lot of them on the internet so that helps.
      I rarely turn on the radio and find out the weather on the internet as well. The weather reports no matter where you get them are usually wrong anyway.
      We are big time readers in our family and my husband saves money on buying books by reading books online. We both have ereaders full of free books we have downloaded. Don’s is actually a tablet so he carries the computer around in his shirt pocket. Great for grocery day when he sits in the van and reads and I don’t have to rush.
      I don’t know if I get more accomplished but it sure is a much more relaxed way of life.
      When the grandchildren come we put on the cd’s of fraggle rock and some older shows and they have a good time watching them and laughing at some of the stuff we used to watch with our sons.
      People I have told that we don’t have TV think we are weird and out of touch with reality.
      I just think we have another type of reality without the soap operas which most shows have turned out to be.

  9. Rachel says

    Grandma, yes, we get that look of shock from people when they find that we don’t have t.v. It is just so funny! They cannot even imagine living such a life. I love movies, so I am collecting DVD’s. I also borrow movies from relatives, friends and the public library.

  10. barb~ says

    I totally agree! Watching the news can be sooo depressing. I try to just listen to soft music in the baackgroun-something light and cheerful. It seems to help me focus better and work harder.

  11. says

    I have been watching a lot of you tube videos. Usually the cooking ones. New to canning and dehydrating so I need to get advice and recipes.
    I find the preppers (as they call themselves) fun to watch, though living in Canada with a different banking system I find those ones kind of paranoid. But some of their advice is good.
    I am also watching the British series of days gone by. Lots of fun and rather educational. I keep those running while I do other things in the house. Very small house so I can hear it from the living room in the kitchen where I seem to be spending most of my days.
    I have a blog as well and spend some time working on that when I get the chance. I don’t make any money from it just the fun of sharing things like recipes and my thoughts on children. If people read it and leave comments it makes my day.
    I enjoy living history shows, but I ignore the main types even on the internet. They are too much like TV for my pleasure.
    I enjoy the music videos of the Celtic Women and the ones by Heather Alexander.
    So those are my entertainment without tv and my lessons in how to do new things.
    I have the computer running 24/7 and people would say I am on it too much but if they actually compare it to the amount of TV they watch and listen to, you would probably find they are about the same amount. So don’t feel guilty about the amount you use the computer. Don’t take anything as the gospel truth and pick and choose what you take away from it.

    • says

      Talk about not believing all you see on the internet reminds me of a commercial we have here where the gal says “Of course it is true it was on the internet” and says if it is on the internet then it must be true. Then says she has a date with a guy she found on the internet who is a French model. The guy walks up, he is ugly as can be, with a fanny pack and a fake French accent.

  12. getforfree says

    I am always hungry for new useful information, and I am thankful for your site. I would rather research something that would help me save money than watch something just for intertainment. I also don’t read any fiction since high school or so, because I find it very useless. I rather read self-help books that help me understand how people think, so I can get my way around them to get what I need. I love to find the ways not only save money, but also earn some while having my kids with me and not getting a real job where I would have to pay for daycare.

  13. Fay says

    So true–I absolutely love researching. Any topic–its all good. However, there also needs to be a time to process, practice and apply the information. Balance–like in everything–is the key. As an example–yesterday I read your post for the Reuben Casserole recipe. We had it for dinner. I processed the info, practiced by making it and am applying the information by noting small changes to the recipe to better suit our tastes. I also made the Ruby Pears–which I think go perfectly (the cranberry that I canned was also learned on line-back in Nov.) This week I put into action the following–3 recipes, 4 cleaning tips, started 1 massive DIY project, 2 craft projects and 1 dog health tip. Can’t wait to see what next week brings.
    What good are the ideas if they gather dust in the brain?
    Thanks for the reminder:)

    • says

      This is true. Also don’t try way too many new things at one time for example don’t try 4 new dishes all on the same day company is coming. Practice one thing for a bit then when you feel comfortable with it move on.

  14. susan says

    It took me getting sick before I realized that you can’t do everything in one day and that includes the internet so I have paced myself to do only what I can. I love your website @ have really learned some good tips. God bless!

  15. Maggie says

    Jill, When I read your comment about the “French model”, that’s exactly what I thought about when I read the other items about the internet. The internet is not the be all and end all to all information. When I had my shoulder injury, the orthopedist told me only to look at the website he recommended. He said that there was a lot of untrue things “out there” and to be sure I was getting the correct information, just review the website he gave me. I am trying not to spend too much time on the internet or watching TV, too. We do like to watch hockey games but I have found that I can listen to them upstairs and work on projects instead of just parking myself in front of the “tube” and doing nothing else. My goal for March is to spend even less time in front of the TV. My husband asked me yesterday how much time did I spend watching HBO – which used to have great movies but doesn’t anymore – and I told him I rarely watch it and he said he doesn’t either, so we are cancelling our HBO connection (saving us $15 per month). While this is not much, we are also saving $9 per month by not having a cable box that allows us to tape shows from the TV. Since we don’t have a device to watch what we tape, no sense paying the extra money for the special box. The new box doesn’t have a clock which we don’t like but for $9/month, we’ll make do. Every other clock in our house is electric so may have to invest in a battery powered clock so we have the exact time to set the electric ones by but that will not cost us as much as the cable box per year. Anyway, the point of all this is to say that we are trying to save money and by not spending all our time in front of the TV, we can save $24 per month or close to $300 per year. Instead, we will be doing things around our house to improve it or to work on projects. A much better use of our time.

    • says

      I don’t think most of us realize how much time we really spend in from of a tv or on the computer. When I was a very young mom I would turn on the tv first thing in the morning and would watch my shows for 3-4 hours a day. I would fold clothes, iron, wash dishes and things while watching them so I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. For some reason (can’t remember why now) I stopped watching tv during the day period. I could not believe how much more I got done. Even though I was working while watching I didn’t realize how much it slowed me down always glancing up to watch it. Even now with no kids at home and more free time I still don’t turn the tv on during the day unless I am really sick. Then I do because sometimes trying to concentrate on the tv helps dull the pain a little when I am not feeling good.

  16. Bea says

    I was just reading this morning about all the information we have these days being like a modern “Tower of Babel” because there is so much out there that it’s confusing and people can’t absorb it all. In the end it leaves you feeling like you know less instead of more. People’s opinions can be just plain wrong and it confuses instead of enlightens.

    • K says

      Yes! I totally agree, Bea. You start reading some thing that sounds really reasonable, then within a couple of mouse clicks are reading completely conflicting information that sounds just as reasonable. I think health/nutrition/fitness “information” is the worst offender. Wrong or simply misleading ideas can be harmful, and on the internet, there is no filtering system other than our own judgement.

      You are right, too, that there is just too much information/data out there period, on all topics. I can’t keep on top of all the news all over the world. It is just a deluge of facts with no context, and I don’t think our minds are wired to deal with that. My own experience is if I have an information overload day, my dreams that night are vivid and long. Guess my mind is trying to deal with what I don’t give it time to during the day.

      I guess I need a new kind of diet, an internet and information/news diet! There are plenty of great sites out there – like Living On A Dime! – but equally many or more that are distractions at best and where you end up wasting precious life hours.

      Thanks, Jill and Tawra, for a great reminder with this post, to take what works for you then put it into practice.


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