Information has Gotten Cheap

Information has Gotten Cheap

When you log onto Facebook, what do you see? I see a lot of shared links, videos, and photos of good times. I also see this:

“You will never believe what they found in ____!”

and… “What this man finds inside the ____ will shock you!”

and… “Here are the reasons why you are still _____.”

There is a term for articles titled this way; its called clickbait. I’m sure you are no stranger to them either.

Usually, when we encounter it, it seems no more than just annoying articles that may or may not be as interesting as they claim to be in the headlines. Scroll on.

But, there is something else going on in the world. News outlets are losing their viewership. And newspapers are losing relevancy. Some compensate for the lack of sales with increased prices–some go out of business.

News is often covered by blog articles or heated statuses on Facebook. But there are so many of them, you don’t know which one you should go to for details… so you look at all of them. Occasionally, you’ll find a new tidbit of information to add onto the knowledge you have about something. But other times, you’ll find articles with conflicting beliefs; “Why you should do strength training,” and “Why you should stay away from strength training.” It becomes hard to figure out what is opinion and what is backed by research.

Why? Because information has gotten cheap.

When you see clickbait, the websites are not looking to teach you something new, but they are competing with others for clicks. The more visitors, the more money you can bring in through advertisements.

With so many people owning mobile devices, it becomes much more easier to scroll through the news right away, than to go to the newsstand or grocery store to pick up a physical copy, or wait for the newspaper to thud against your door.

People are looking towards writing jobs so that they can earn some money on the side… but so are millions of other people. Because anyone can start a blog. Anyone can write something interesting to at least one other person. What started off as “I’m a good writer, so people will read my stuff” becomes, “What can I write about that will get me more viewers? Something controversial? Should I exaggerate some things? Lie a little?” because there are so many people fighting for your audience.

Now, it is easier than ever to learn about the topic of your choosing. This, in itself, is a blessing. But I think it misleads a lot of people (especially millennials like myself) into thinking that doing a side job of blogging will bring in some nice cash when they’d actually be hard pressed. Because simply writing interesting stuff is not enough. You have to think outside of the box, look into the lost “arts”.

Rather than follow the swarm of humans bustling towards a common opportunity, try looking for the path not taken, or at least, less trampled. There’ll be more scenery for you to enjoy and you might just find something special–something that, with your abilities, you can turn into something valuable.

This message is more of a message to myself than to anyone in particular, but maybe it will offer you some inspiration. Because by going along with the flow of a huge tsunami, you’ll find that once it crashes, there isn’t much to see. It’s like in those massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG); eventually, everyone knows the secret location to a treasure trove–then it gets gutted of its valuables.

So rather than doing things just because many other people have found success in them (ex. university students over-saturating the medicine/dentistry markets, people writing books about popular but unoriginal ideas, and aiming to be the next Instagram girl scouted to be a model), I think it’s better to look around more carefully. With critical and innovative thinking, you will be able to find out what this world needs or would like.

What could I create to help people suffering from poor mental health?

What product or service can I create to counter the effects of a market that makes a profit off of pointing out physical flaws in women and romantic/financial insecurities in men?

How can I address the problem of ever-growing landfills by making recycling easy enough to prevent it?

These are all questions that currently do not have answers, because everyone is chasing the same “tried-and-true” opportunities. I’m going to start thinking… and I hope you do too! Because this world, in truth, still has major problems and more to come with the way things are going now.

My MVP is your MVP

My MVP is your MVP

Today, the daily prompt is My FavoriteWhat’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.


At first, when I thought about how to answer this prompt, I thought to myself, “Who IS my favorite person?” I shuffled through names of people who I enjoyed spending time with, who were important to me. In the end, I got it. My favorite person, is myself.

Physically, I have never been apart from myself, but mentally I have. It’s hard for me to measure the moments where I wasn’t there for myself though; times where I haven’t been there for myself, are numerous.

When I was depressed and neglected to take care of myself.

When I got in an argument with someone close to me and instead of respecting myself and my boundaries (which are there to protect my mental well being), I would let myself get walked over time and time again.

When I couldn’t find a balance between getting stuff done and getting enough sleep; I knew it at the times, that not getting enough sleep would lead to a viscous cycle of getting less done and in turn, losing more sleep to get more done.

Hardly how I should treat my favorite person, hey? Well, it just serves as a constant reminder to be there for myself, no matter what.

You guys take care of your MVPs as well! 🙂

 

Mental Health | Under That Bright Smile

A while ago, when I was at work, I heard news of a student death on campus. The night before, I heard that a friend had been reported missing for over a day. I had chills then. As it turns out, the person who died was that same friend. He had ended his own life.

sarazancotti_eiffel-tower-paris

Source: Boundaries

It was surreal–the unfolding of events. He had told his parents that he was going to go to school to study and that he’d meet up with them later for supper. He didn’t come back that night.

The next morning, the news of his death became common knowledge to friends and friends of friends.

People were hurting. I couldn’t understand why the only emotion I felt at that moment, was emptiness.. Knowing how the news hurt other people hurt me more than the death itself… Which I oddly, felt nothing for. No sadness. No joy. No anger. Just quiet.

Maybe it’s because this wasn’t the first death of someone I knew personally. Maybe it was because I worked in a long-term care center where death was a naturally occurring event. Maybe, I was just in shock.

I gave my boyfriend a big hug. Talked to him about it. Then he had to go to class and I had to go back to work.

Quiet again.

Then my supervisor walks in. He asks me how I’m doing. I say that I’m doing okay… then, not sure whether or not I should tell him, I finally decided to tell him about the news. I told him about this boy.

Always smiling. Always friendly. Always talkative. His eyes would squint and make a single crease on either side whenever he smiled that ear-to-ear smile of his.

Suddenly, anger started to bubble up inside me. This boy had depression. I hadn’t seen him in months since I wasn’t close to him but he had a lot of friends. When his wide smile started to wane, why didn’t anyone truly reach out to him? Mental Health Awareness week was just the week before. Where was this awareness?

…Then there was just pain. I remembered what it was like when I was depressed and everything seemed to continue on without me. Everyone seemed to have things to do, things that they were “busy” with. I didn’t seek professional help. I didn’t want to be known has having a mental illness because there was so much stigma behind it. The moment someone knew that you were mentally unwell, they get a strange look in their eyes–a little bit of fear, a little bit of concern, a little bit of wariness.

There are all these campaigns for “raising awareness” and how to take care of your mental health. People know that it is important to reach out to someone in pain but it is easy to say that you’ll do it. Doing it is another story. It’s easy to say, “You know, there are free counselling services provided here.” It’s easy because just like that, you were able to do “something” without the weight of responsibility. Do you know what’s harder? Saying, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you look upset lately. Would you like to talk about it later? I have to ___ until ___, but after that, I’m here for you.” Boom! But yes, there is that feeling of responsibility… daunting to some, and terrifying to others.

How many times have you been faced with a situation that made you uncomfortable or upset? How many times have you decided, “I don’t want to deal with it,” and ran away from the problem? Running away is easy… because it is a self-preservation tactic. By running away, you are holding onto a small inkling of hope that the problem will resolve on it’s own. Sometimes it does. Sometimes, it doesn’t. When the problem doesn’t resolve itself, sometimes running away is still worth it. Sometimes, it’s not.


Her: Hey, Tiff. I haven’t talked to you or seen you in months. Do you want to go work-out with me sometime this week?

Me: (Peers up from dark hole of depression) Sure.

It didn’t seem like much then, but that was all it took to get me back on track. Maybe, there is someone in your life that could really use:

  • A big hug
  • Someone to listen
  • Someone to sit/walk with them
  • Someone to tell them a joke
  • Someone to ask how they are doing

These little things can be more powerful than an hour-long counselling appointment.

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany