Macki Aycock, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Spring 2017 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the following essay in response to the prompt: With a flood of information constantly bombarding us, what tools or tricks do you use to manage the information?
The flood of information that bombards me mostly comes from TV, magazines, social media and school. As I have gotten older I have learned to manage this information in ways that makes my life less stimulating (in a good way), less dramatic and more seamless. I have never been particularly interested in pop culture so this was something that was easy to manage.
Simply put, I try not to watch reality television, E! News, or read the magazines People and Us Weekly. That being said, I am typically out of the loop when those around me are discussing Beyonce being pregnant with twins or Kanye West being in a mental rehabilitation facility. So when it actually comes down to it, I am still getting my daily dose of pop culture from those around me but not from the other millions of outlets dishing it out. I have too many problems of my own to worry about without thinking about celebrity’s problems too.
Social media is a major source of information overload as well. You get access to information you didn’t even ask for just about every minute of every day. Most of the time I couldn’t care less about the majority of the things my friends are doing or posting about. I would much rather sit down for a cup of coffee with them and talk to them face-to-face. For an extra credit assignment last Spring, my professor made us temporarily disable all of our social media and only use technology for school. Instead, we used the time we would’ve spent scrolling through the endless information, writing. We could write about anything; our day, how it felt to live without social media and technology or simply our lives. It was the calmest week I had in a long time. I loved it so much that I didn’t re-activate my social media until finals for the semester were over and it was summer.
The final area where I receive information overload is in school. I wouldn’t say this is even remotely comparable to TV or social media, but it too comes with its own overwhelming nature. To manage this, I try to keep all my classes separate and try not to study for everything at the same time. I can block my schedule off so that I am only studying for or doing work for one class during one allotted time period. This helps me to be more efficient and eliminates stress that is the result of trying to do everything at once to “just get it done.” Time management has significantly helped me since starting college and has allowed me to prioritize more difficult assignments. I know this is a skill I can utilize after college in the workforce to be more productive and stress-free. These are just some of the areas where I have noticed information overload in my life. To totally escape everything, doing yoga, spin classes and boxing helps me a lot too.
Macki is a senior at Pepperdine University majoring in Advertising.
Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.