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Online Noise! How Much Is Too Much and How to Quiet It

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Screens and Teens March

In today’s world, it seems like everyone knows everything about everybody. And that just feels like a lot of “stuff” for our brains to take in. What your neighbor had for dinner with their spouse during #datenight. How much your friend’s friend of a friend is enjoying their vacation. #blessed How angry the neighbor down the street is with her husband because he won’t help around the house. #whocares The first time your cousin’s toddler went potty on the potty. #finally How much your favorite influencer’s daughter loves to dress up as Elsa and provide 50 pictures of her as proof. #letiggo

No. Really. Please, let it go. Or make it stop. While I am speaking a bit tongue in cheek here, and I think your kids are cute, at some point, it becomes too much. Notwithstanding all of the new issues we are now facing with privacy and AI, if we narrow it down to bare bones, we were never meant to have this much input every day. Our bodies and minds are not built for the constant onslaught of information we receive through our screens.

For thousands of years, and up until around 20 years ago, our main form of communication was face-to-face interaction, meaning you were limited to the amount of information you received about other people and their lives. You were limited to local information, not what was happening globally. I would argue that while we seem to want to know everything, having constant access by widening our lenses hasn’t led to fulfillment or enlightenment; instead, it has contributed to feelings of angst and anxiety.

As humans, we have a limit. A spillover point, if you will. Where even good news feels like too much news and adds to our every feeling of being overwhelmed. As anthropologist Dr. Anna Machin states, “We are whipping ahead with all this innovation, doing these amazing things, but the biological evolution hasn’t evolved and isn’t adapted to having social relationships online. So there is a massive mismatch.”

Our brains and bodies are incredibly smart. There are cool fail-safes built within our system that give off warning signs when it has had too much. Is it any wonder that collectively, as a society, we feel more overwhelmed and exhausted than ever? Online noise is… noisy. And our voyeuristic desire to constantly peek into the window of everyone else’s home works hand in hand with the available noise. The side effect is the noise drowns out all the cues our bodies are so desperately trying to give us. To rest. To take a break. To get sunshine and fresh air. To navigate only your life issues. Our bodies simply are not built to hold the weight of the world.

What can we do? Share less. Get online less. Get outside more. Have more face-to-face interactions. These seem like such simple and easy ideas. And they are. Honoring how we are made may be the key to quieting the noise.


Kristi Bush serves as a national education consultant and social media safety advocate. She is a licensed social worker with greater than 15 years of clinical practice and health care experience. She attended Troy and Auburn University where she studied social work and counseling. Kristi travels nationally and has spoken with thousands of children, parents, professionals and organizations about the benefits and threats associated with social media. You may reach Kristi through her website at www.knbcommunications.com.

Kristi Bush
Author: Kristi Bush

Kristi Bush serves as a national education consultant and social media safety advocate. She is a licensed social worker with greater than 15 years of clinical practice and health care experience. She attended Troy and Auburn University where she studied social work and counseling. Kristi travels nationally and has spoken with thousands of children, parents, professionals and organizations about the benefits and threats associated with social media. You may reach Kristi through her website at www.knbcommunications.com.

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Kristi Bush serves as a national education consultant and social media safety advocate. She is a licensed social worker with greater than 15 years of clinical practice and health care experience. She attended Troy and Auburn University where she studied social work and counseling. Kristi travels nationally and has spoken with thousands of children, parents, professionals and organizations about the benefits and threats associated with social media. You may reach Kristi through her website at www.knbcommunications.com.

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