What is an information diet and do I need to go on one? An information diet is defined as an individual’s consumption of information. This can be thought of as a food diet as you can make healthy and unhealthy choices.
Back in the day, information used to be scarce. You had to go to the store to get the one newspaper option or go into the store to talk to a salesperson to get the price of goods. Nowadays, you unlock your phone and type in whatever you want to know and in 5 seconds or less you get multiple articles with varying reliability and filled with information.
How does the ease of access to information affect us? Apparently more than we thought. A study by psychology researcher Michelle Geilan found that watching just a few minutes of negative news in the morning increases the chances of viewers reporting having had a bad day by 27%. If that research is not jarring enough, digital media has changed the physical structure of our brains due to neuroplasticity. Therefore, the more news we consume, the more we strengthen and exercise the neural circuits devoted to non-stop news stories. At the same time we ignore those neural circuits devoted to reading and thinking with profound focus.
So what can we do? Cutting ourselves off to news could be an option but is that tangible? Some news can be beneficial, however be mindful of the sources and stories you follow. Your information diet can be whatever works for you. For us at Safe and Sound Therapeutics, setting limits for social media apps on the phone, listening to podcasts from trusted sources, checking Castanet only once or twice a day and reading a book have been game changing.
If you or someone you know could benefit from an information diet and want to learn more, contact Safe and Sound Therapeutics!