This inspired me. My mom so musically combined these two opposing words – tidy chaos. She referred to media. Now that we have tablets, smartphones, smart computers, fast internet, information flood.
I asked her, why “tidy chaos”?
And, the ‘early adopter’ in her spoke, which was something like:
“Well, information is so easy to access…you want to look up a word, for example, and, click – online Thesaurus translates. Meanwhile, a picture or a news item distracts you. Click, and you’re gone on another page. Or you’re maybe on another device, already. From there, you see something else. Click, you’ve clicked a day off your calendar, clicking away on so many things that are coming at you. And content is coming at you from everywhere in any possible form, from TV, from internet, from my iPad, from my phone, from my car, on the billboards, in the magazines, in my mailbox, at work, information pouring in like from an open fire hydrant. It’s chaos. Yet, it’s all tidily placed for you with this application and that application; on this pretty device and that cute website. Columns, apps, snippets, tiny boxes, links, banners. Click, click, click, everything is at your fingertips, easy to use, incredibly convenient and instant.”
All that made so much sense. But the best one was when she cinched it in one word:
“My brain has a big blister on it from all this information chaos”, my mom made me laugh.
“It’s information glut”, I said.
And to amuse ourselves more, I told her to replace the word “information” with the word “food”.
While I was at it, I also changed all derivative nouns and verbs, too.
I only kept the adjectives the same.
They fitted perfectly.
junk information = junk food
fast information = fast food
poor information = poor nutrition
….and we produced an
Ode to Information (mal)Nutrition
There’s so much of everything on people’s plates today, and it keeps coming that people don’t chew anymore. They gorge, gobble, and gulp. People don’t even wait to get hungry. They can’t get hungry. They wake up, food pours in. It never actually stops pouring in. From this vending machine and that kiosk, from this device and that gadget.
Most of all, people don’t know anymore what they want to eat, what they need to eat, and what they have to eat.
It’s all coming in cheesecakes, and lots of them, with a steak on the side, with chilli, ice-cream and ketchup on top…of the cakes. And that’s for breakfast.
Shall I mention the between-meal snacking? The snippets and news bites, short and meaningless, I mean, the chips and crackers, and jelly babies, and pop-corn – bite-sized, nutrition-less, cheap, in heaps.
And the night binging?
Or the feasting on in-depth and live coverages or exclusive programs during special days like holidays, Hollywood ceremonies, Arab revolutions? Mixed with second-course plates about nuclear power-station explosions, and tsunamis and overdosed musicians and fashion trends? The daily menus are just sickening.
But then there is Facebook and Twitter where people can waste more time and munch on more junk.
After all this I realised two things:
1) Only those capable of self-control will manage to keep a healthy diet. Only those will be able to make use out of this information chaos. The rest will have to fight obesity and immobility, literally and figuratively speaking.
2) There is one difference between information today and food.
It’s the expiration date!
The greater the junk food is, as in food, the longer the expiration date.
Ketchup just doesn’t seem to go bad.
Whereas junk information expires the moment it has been created.
Which makes me think, does that make people inactive, indifferent even, to what they’re being informed about? Because we’re being informed about so much that we just can’t figure out what to focus on first and what to do about it, so we end up focusing on nothing in particular, and doing nothing.
Now, what happens when my kids clash with this media chaos?
How will I tidy up this chaos for them?
Or, should I leave the tidying to them, while I only focus on teaching them how to sift through the junk and how to control their own binge impulses?