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.

MOTD | December 30, 2015

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – Shawshank Redemption


 

I have a bad habit.

Last night, my roommate came back at around midnight and we spent until 3am talking and catching up about what happened over the holidays.

I slept in this morning. I couldn’t be helped, I thought. If I sleep late, of course I’m going to wake up late. Anyways…

I think we can all agree on one thing–everyone has 24 hours in a day to work with. I know this as well… however, I spent the next hour lying in bed wishing that there were more hours in a day instead.

It wasn’t until I got out of bed, when I realized how counter-productive my thinking was. Did I really just spend an hour in bed wishing that there were more hours in a day? Yes, I did. That is a bad habit of mine; this is not the first time I have thought this.

We all have 24 hours in a day. Let’s all try to make the best of what time we have instead of wasting precious time wishing there was more of it. This is a reminder to myself more than anything else!

MOTD | December 14, 2015

Ah, for today’s “Musing of the Day”, I have what is more like a “Joke of a Day”

This is inspired by my run-in with a lover of furry animals today.

What’s this?

Source: Here!

Yes, that’s right. It’s a cat stretching. Normally, you wouldn’t think anything about it, but what about now?

Source: Here!

Yes, that’s a dog stretching. Does this spark a memory? Even though these stretches are essentially the same, the dog version gets the limelight. And then, it got me thinking… the person who adapted this stretch to accommodate humans, must have been a dog-lover. This is the “downward dog” in its purest form!

How’s that for a bit of unnecessary enlightenment, haha! ;D Suddenly, I feel like stretching.

MOTD | December 8, 2015

Anger does indeed have a “pause” button.

I was angry. I wanted to say things like: “Ugh… again? I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am in you.”

I looked at the two messages. I wanted to respond with the intention to hurt, but didn’t. Instead, I clicked the screen off and went outside to walk. The winter night was calming and the trees were decked with lights. I started to forget about my anger, my disappointment. After a while, all that was left was a small hint of disappointment. I clicked my screen on, and looked at the two messages again.

It wasn’t even that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. I’m not perfect. Why was I so prepared to blow such a small problem out of proportion? I would be like saying, “No! You are not allowed to make mistakes. You are not allowed to be human!”

Angry impulses feel good, they tempt you with revenge. But no, that is a bad mindset. Mentally, I took a step back–pressed the pause button–took anger, and replaced it with forgiveness.

In the short-term, anger yields immediate reward but has long-term consequences. Forgiveness, although harder to harness, requires short-term effort, but yields long-term rewards.

MOTD | December 6, 2015

It’s easy to fall into the habit of looking for something to love–something to keep you going when the momentum of excitement starts to wane–be it in a situation, job, task, or relationship. The thing about looking for these qualities, is that things change; humans change; circumstances change.

“It is important to look not for something to love, but to look with love.”

Maybe, it is the difference between:

“Well, at least […]. There’s that, I guess.”

…and …

“Yes, I love this […]. I haven’t forgotten. :)”


Maybe, that is all it takes to keep the exhilarating momentum of newness from fading. Qualities and features can change, but your perspective doesn’t have to.


 

Disclaimer: Of course, this doesn’t apply to things that make you absolutely miserable or harm you.

MOTD | December 1, 2015

Aside: MOTD stands for “Musing of the Day”. Short posts about realizations, and thoughts that happen across my mind.


Today, I was walking to the subway station. My eyebrows were furrowed as I was thinking hard. I was thinking about all the things I had to do that day, and how I would fit in the things I wanted to do. I brooded about the things that I said I would do that morning, but didn’t because I woke up too late. I criticized my lack of self-control; last night, I told myself that this would be the day I woke up early. It wasn’t.

As I neared the station doors, I realized that the whole time, my gaze was consistently fixed on the ground 5 meters in front of me. I sighed and forced my eyebrows to relax. Then I looked up. Buildings. People. Trees.

I looked higher yet and realized that the sky was blue and the sun was shining. My eyebrows knitted again. Why did I spend so much time looking at the ground when I could have seen what a beautiful day it was today? No. Don’t wonder. Just look around–breathe in.

The day seemed better already.

Maybe you, too, are too busy looking at the ground in front of you to notice the wonderful things around you. Stop, breathe, look around. Sometimes, we forget.