HIPS: Being ‘Informed’ Is Only Helpful If the Information You Get Is Worthwhile
By Bryan Hyde
COMMENTARY -- What does it mean to be informed? The answer to this question isn’t as cut and dried as we might think.
A person who is glued to the various news channels or online news outlets is encountering plenty of information any time, day or night.
But does that information leave them better equipped to understand the world, or does it leave them anxious, fearful and angry? And do they console themselves by thinking, “Well, at least I am informed because I watched the news”?
They may even try to convince others that, they too, have to follow the news to be informed.
T.K. Coleman from the Foundation for Economic Education has a very timely warning about what happens when we spend our lives feeding bad information to ourselves.
He says social engineering isn’t just about controlling the content of our beliefs, it’s about controlling how we focus our attention. He points out that you can have informed opinions and still be a sheep at the level of what you spend most of your time thinking about.
This isn’t to say that the news is a bad thing.
It’s a caution that the information that matters most isn’t the stuff that’s being thrown in your face and shoved down your throat.
Staying informed can be a good thing.
But each of us is better off when we stay in control of our definition of what it means to be “informed.”
* Hyde In Plain Sight is written by KDXU personality Bryan Hyde. Catch his daily HIPS vignette at 7:50-ish every weekday morning on KDXU and listen to The Bryan Hyde Show weekends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday nights.