Information Saturation Depletion: Energy Zappers, Part Six

Social media and its impact on your mental health

By Holli Kenley

information saturation

Information saturation from hours of internet connection can be a fundamental part of your energy depletion. Before we get started, please take this little information saturation quiz. The only requirement is that you are honest. And no one else needs to see your answers.

Answer yes for ‘almost always’ and no for ‘mostly never’. If a question does not apply to you, just skip it.

Quiz: Are You Experiencing Information Saturation?

  • I am on more than 5 social networking sites or accounts?
  • I post, tweet, upload, share information, etc. at least 10 times per day.
  • I do not read most of the information on my connections’ posts, tweets,etc.
  • On my home pages like Facebook, I scroll down quickly or skip many of the posts.
  • I follow a few blogs, post, tweets, etc. faithfully, but I delete or ignore the rest.
  • I will usually like a post to save time and to show I care, but I usually leave no comment.
  • I have some connections, friends, or groups where I never read their stuff.
  • I am more interested in what I have to share and the responses to what I share than what others are posting.
  • I find myself getting frustrated with my connections who flood my home pages with constant posting, tweeting, etc. of all their stuff.
  • There are times where I feel exhausted or depleted or saturated sorting through all the information on my social networking sites or accounts!

Total up your answers

# of Yes _________
# of No _________

information overload

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Let’s get down to business and interpret our results of the Information saturation quiz.

Here goes:

# of yes answers

0 – 5:  You seem to have found a happy medium in your tech life. Your supply and demand ratio is in balance. Stay energized and keep implementing healthy tech boundaries.

6 – 8:  Ouch! You may be feeling slightly depleted and/or frustrated by the flow of information coming your way. Shore up your tech boundaries by checking out the tips for getting more in balance with your supply and demand ratio! You’ll feel less saturated and more invigorated.

9 – 10: Yikes! Take a tech break and regroup. Your supply of information is saturating your being. You need to pay attention to your demand (needs) and get re-energized now! Go directly to 3 Tips for Staying Recharged and begin implementing your tech boundaries.

social media affects your mental wellbeing

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It is so cool that we live in a time where most people who have access to technology are not only able to gather information but they can also disseminate it! In some respects, technology has erased the barrier between instructors and learners. We all have a voice! We all have something to offer. And it is just a click, tweet, post, or upload away. The problem is – if we are all so busy disseminating information, who has the time or energy to pay attention to it?

3 Tips for Staying Recharged

Tip One: Less is more

Take a couple of days and clean out your sites and connections. Just like you would a cluttered closet, toss out the unused, worn out, or irrelevant items! Who cares of you follow 2000 people on Twitter if you never read their tweets? And then, readjust your settings so that the number of notifications on all your sites serve your purposes and lifestyle. You should not be spending more time deleting stuff than reading stuff! Make your connections mean something! Remember – less is more.

Tip Two: Quality – not quantity

This is a tricky one. This means you take time to evaluate what, why, and how often you are posting, tweeting, uploading, etc. your stuff. Remember, your connections are getting tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed by too much information being posted, just like you are! And, they are ignoring it or deleting it – just like you! It really isn’t about how much you post or tweet or upload – it’s about how meaningful the content is. Save your energy for sharing what is really important to you – and it will be to others as well. Quality trumps quantity.

Tip Three: Do an ego check

Okay, I might be treading on thin ice here, but I must share Tip Three! And, as always, I include myself in this advice for staying recharged. As you get ready to post, tweet, share, upload, etc., ask yourself these two questions:
Will this benefit, inform, serve, enhance or entertain others?
Or is this solely for self-promotion, self-gratification, and/or self-adulation?

Now Take Some Time And Think

I realize for most of us the answer is likely a combination of both and there are justifiable and sound reasons for it. I realize also that there are individuals who fall to the extreme of either end of the spectrum – from only serving others to just serving self. What I am suggesting is for you to do an honest ego check – and to keep it in balance! The irony behind this tip is that as we turn our focus outward in serving ( benefiting, informing, enhancing, entertaining) others, we are instantly replenished and recharged! And the more our focus is turned inward – the more self-serving we are – the more self-absorbed we become, still feeling depleted and seeking additional renewal and recognition. So as we are striving for that balance, let’s remember that we all want to be respected, loved, and affirmed. Let’s give others reason to do so.

In closing, during this time of Information saturation, we will find ourselves staying re-energized and recharged, by keeping our supply of information meaningful, mindful and in moderation as we balance out our demand for the same.

Publishers Notes: Holli Kenley is an American Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the author of “ Daughters Betrayed By Their Mothers: Moving from Brokenness to Wholeness” and “Power Down & Parent Up!: Cyber Bullying, Screen Dependence & Raising Tech-Healthy Children”

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