Today was day three of the Infomagical challenge-Magical Brain-and I undertook the task of trying to avoid all viral and trending topics in the media. Today was also the day Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. The sheer irony of this almost made me admit defeat before I even attempted to succeed in this challenge.
I did try, but I’ll admit that by the end of the day my success was akin to that of Hillary Clinton’s… How could I resist the temptation of all those viral memes and tweets? This monumental day in American history prompted responses from people all over the world, and the Internet was buzzing with political posts regarding it. My Facebook and other social media feeds had one trending topic and one only, and, even if I had avoided all media, it was all anyone talked about on campus and in class. Alas, I was not very successful in my task. I won’t even try to pose the argument that information regarding the American election is worthwhile to me (and that it was therefore relevant for me to consume). Because, though I do find it to be a vital topic to follow and stay informed on, I cannot pretend that it is a topic that I consider to be valuable with regards to my own information pursuits.
However, I did try to limit, and be selective of, the content I did consume regarding the election. The only article I read thoroughly was Tim Urban’s response to the outcome on WaitButWhy. I even avoided watching Trump’s acceptance speech or Clinton’s concession speech (although I did watch what President Obama had to say). Today made me realize the full extent to which we are all captives of information overload! I feel as though unless I were to drop my phone in the canal, establish a permanent residence in Ottawa’s Experimental Farm, and never again venture into the civilized world, media and the overload of information are omnipresent and inescapable aspects of our 21st century lives. All that being said, what are your thoughts on the election?