Thinking Too Much [en]

[fr] J'ai un peu tendance à penser trop, et à ne pas vivre assez. Aujourd'hui, avec le côté un peu compulsif de la consommation d'infos en ligne (hello, Facebook!) je crois que je suis retombée dans ce piège.

At some point during my young life, in my mid twenties, it dawned on me that I was thinking too much for the amount of life I had racked up until then. Barely post-adolescent brains will go a bit overboard, of course, but this has happened to me a couple of times since. In my mid-thirties, for example: I had spent a lot of energy trying to figure out the world, people, relationships, myself, life, death and the like. I did study philosophy and history of religions, after all.


Today, I’m wondering if I’m not thinking too much — again. But it’s taking a different shape. Although I’ve long been skeptical about all the alarm bells ringing about information overload, I have come to believe that there is something to say about our access to, and relationship with, all the information now at the tip of our fingers. And it’s clear to me that there is something compulsive in the way I go after information.

This was the case for me before the internet. I’ve always been an avid reader. I’ve always loved understanding things. I collected stamps. Then fonts, and even AD&D spells (don’t laugh). At university, I loved immersing myself in a topic, surrounded with piles of books and articles, going through them for hours and seeing a big muddled mess of ideas start to make sense. So, imagine when the internet came along. As far as my academic life goes, that was largely when I was working on my dissertation.

My compulsive search for information has served my life well when I have managed to harness it for concrete projects (write a dissertation; publish a blog post; gain expertise). I even wondered if there was a way to use it to earn money some way. But today, I feel it is leading me around in circles on Facebook, mainly. There is so much interesting stuff to read out there. I still want to understand the world, people, life, love, politics, beliefs, education, relationships, society… And I will never be done. But the internet allows me to not stop.

My tendency to “think too much, live not enough” has found an ally in the  compulsive consumption of online media.

Time to think less, and accept I can’t figure everything out.

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