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The internet ocean is not a sea of tranquility

It’s starting to happen at a more and more rapid pace. The sheer amount of information and opinions and data and whatever else you can put online is turning into an ocean of information. Like the ocean, size is amazing. That analogy works about the sheer size of the object but the similarities end there.

You see, I usually go to the ocean to be refreshed and to find some peace. Of course, part of my secret for that is to never go during peak season, but this is an Internet marketing blog not a travel blog, right? When you stand on the beach, right at the edge of the water, you can observe the rhythm of the waves, and the wonderment at the idea that it rolls on and on regardless of whether I am there or not. If I don’t come back for another year, it will be doing the same thing and it will have the same pace and apparent
disregard for who is watching.

Ocean Colors

Image by Paulo Brandão via Flickr

The Internet’s information ocean is similar, but there is nothing soothing about it at all. As we stand on the beach of this sea of data, the information keeps crashing on the shore in a similar fashion to waves. The trouble is that there is no consistency or rhythm to these waves. They come in fits and starts and stops, and they come at times that are disruptive rather than soothing.
While the ocean goes about its business, there is never a desire to have to catch and bottle the waves. There is no need to manage the flow of the water. Rather, it is relaxing that it is what it is, and that is enough. The Internet information wave, however, gives one the feeling that it needs to be harnessed, captured if you will, so it can be used for advantage.
What about the sounds of the ocean? Aren’t they beautiful and soothing? Even as larger waves make a crash in the surf, there is that wonder and ease about them. It moves your mind to bigger things without creating stress. In fact, it can remove you from stress much more easily.
Not so on the shoreline of the Internet Ocean. No, in fact, the noise that comes from it is getting louder and louder. It is the sound of everyone needing to be heard above everyone else. As a result, rather than having incredible power from the sheer enormity of the Internet, you have the din of noise on top of noise that is trying to drown out some other noise.
This analogy can go on forever so I’ll end it here. What won’t end, though, is our having to deal with the expanding Internet Ocean. While the oceans of the world retain their size (relatively speaking), the Internet Ocean is growing and there is no end in site. Here’s a quick plan for how I intend to not get taken in by the Internet’s undertow:

  1. No more RSS feeds. I don’t read them because it is not humanly possible. Why sign up for something that is not doing anyone any good other than goosing feed numbers for someone to sell ads around?
  2. E-mail notifications only. If there is no way for me to get an e-mail update on a blog then I am not interested. I check e-mail a lot so this is part of my regular routine so if I receive a few
    e-mails a day about new thoughts from trusted sources that’s manageable.
  3. Find the Top 10. I am working on finding the Top 10 sources of information that I will follow regularly for information and that’s it. If they guide me to another source, then I will consider it because I trust the referral. No more chasing information rabbits.
  4. Keep social media as social as possible. In other words, I cannot have days that are swallowed up by the busy-ness of social media. Social media needs to be fun yet purpose-driven for me. Otherwise, I will find myself 100 miles offshore on the Internet Ocean with no gas and no radio. That’s bad.
  5. Step away more often. I seek the natural beauty of the ocean because of its source and I am awe of its power. I am drawn to it and never upset by it. Not so with the Internet Ocean. It is something that should be used but not admired. As soon as I admire it it will suck me in and that’ll be it.

So how do you view the Internet Ocean? Is it soothing? Is it relaxing? If not, I suggest you head to beach and leave the online where it belongs: online.

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