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Sex, violence and the information overflow that serves us

By Magdalena Dobosz

“If you want to sell a story, write about sex and violence.” Is something I heard once from a journalist. The more ridiculous a story is, the more our imagination works. The more it works, the busier our heads become and we have a nice escape. Is it about entertainment? Is it about distraction?

The more exposure we have to sex and violence, the more likely we are to accept it as a something normal. It numbs our brains and eventually we stop reacting with shock. After some time we might even believe that the news we read reflects what’s happening in society. Whereas it is society that reflects what’s in the news.

Sooner or later, we have enough and we switch our minds off. Those who are more inclined to focus on the threats might think that people would handle the information overflow by becoming zombies. Being muffled and congested. Checked out from being present and attentive and just passively alive, or rather – just existing. As if that would lead to anything constructive. Apparently, information overstimulation can serve us.

Switching off from the external stuff can help us to utilise our energy better and focus on our internal stuff instead. Sounds dreadful? For many, yes. We might be used to escaping from our own thoughts and feelings and existential questions by going outside of our own minds and seeking external stimulation. Read a newspaper, listen to a discussion on the radio, watch a movie, consume the stories from the internet and social media feed, have a chat over a drink, think about other people’s problems, the company’s issues, or politics in general, let’s get busy. Let’s do this and do that, in the hope that external information flow will keep us away from the internal communication within ourselves. For a short time, being busy feels comfy so we carry on. We enjoy pleasant escapism and welcome distraction full of crap. However, when the external becomes too overwhelming it forces us inside, to get within ourselves, away from the external noise and chaos. We divert back to our internal world thinking:

‘I know that my head is messy, but the external is worse, so let’s get inside my own head and tidy it up, let’s create more space.’

We even started calling it ‘head-space’. We seek more clarity and peace of mind, that’s why we teach ourselves meditation and crave a connection with nature, our nature. We want the connection with Goodness, Kindness, Generosity, Worthiness, Trust, Hope, Positivity, Love.  Connection with what I call ‘our Good Self’ (a phrase used by Jeremy Ridge, formerly Chair of APECS). ‘Love’ especially is still a big word for some of us, and you won’t hear much about it in the business world, unless you want to be labeled as a ‘softy’. That, however, might gain more acceptance over time, just as pink shirts and ties came to be viewed as masculine when more mainstream men started wearing them. Let’s stay open to a soft-hard business blend for the ultimate richness of leadership!

I choose to focus on the opportunities that information overstimulation brings because only then I can figure out creative solutions and find something that empowers us. Give it a go!

Fixation on threats gives you tunnel vision and that limits your creativity and could suck the will to live out of you. Observing today’s world from the perspective of a threat-seeker will cause you to suffer for nothing. If you want to change things, get yourself to a more resourceful state and start seeing the opportunities too. Ask yourself ‘How could this serve me?’ and shift your focus from threat-driven to opportunity-driven. If there’s a poo-to-value ratio in everything, I don’t ask you to negate the existence of the bad. I’m just saying – notice the value and focus on the opportunity instead.

Those who start sorting out their internal stuff would do a great service to others by sharing their opinions, learning and reflections afterwards. Because their self-expression and the content they create reflects the level of their connection with the Goodness within. And, therefore, they contribute to an encouraging environment that enables others to connect with themselves too.

The news is not only about what sells, it also represents the qualities of the people who create the content. Let’s train our brains to be opportunity-driven.

Magdalena Dobosz – studying the power and influence of media, religions, and education. Coaching leaders with integrity.

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