The Art of Shutting Down the Noise

It was as if my thinking was being blurred. The huge flow of digital noise and useless information was derailing my focus. I had to change things up.

I used to follow the news a lot. I also spent a lot of time flicking away happily on Facebook… I’ve always thought that’s a waste of time – kind of… …but it’s what people do, right?

Not until a while I ago it really started to get to me… I started to fully realize I was not contributing anything and I was certainly not getting anything back from it. Absolutely the contrary – looping the same shit, over and over again.. Not the one.


Who’s ignorant?

There is this wide misconception that staying in the loop about the news all the time is somehow important for us. I don’t agree. Most mainstream news are meaningless and totally, completely irrelevant to us.

Not only that but they are also skewing our view of the world by presenting single-sided stories and politically colored views, often making a big deal out of something that in reality has little impact on people’s lives.

I’ve had people say it’s ignorant of me not to follow what’s going on in the world. That’s bollox. That’s exactly what media wants you to think so they can shove more crap down your throat (and make more money). Here’s the deal: When something really important is going on you will surely hear about it. Don’t you think?

You are not gaining anything from knowing how many people attended the gay pride march in Amsterdam last weekend or that how a storm did not hit Shanghai yesterday. Just a couple of examples of news I picked from the main page of YLE-news (Finland’s biggest and most “serious” news network) when writing this.

Don’t you think you are being ignorant towards yourself and those around you by wasting your time on something useless? Is wasting time the purpose of your life?

To say it’s entertainment is a poor excuse. You could do something better instead. News, Facebook and such all serve one of the most primal of traits – our curiosity. Yes you must feed your curiosity and nourish your mind. But to feed it with crap is like eating at MacDonalds. In fact your mind is exactly like your body – it needs something good to build and thrive on. Otherwise it’s dead end, bye bye.


A simple decision

I’ve pretty much quit watching telly. I don’t really follow the news and such on the web anymore, unless there is something going on I want to find out about. I don’t spend time reading the newspapers either. I unfollowed about 100 people on my Twitter list. Hidden loads of people on Facebook. Nothing personal, just too many people and too much noise. I’m not a small talk person anyway – I rather get something done. I just didn’t find all that nonsense contributing in my life in any way.

As far as entertainment goes, I find it much more entertaining these days to spend time either working on something nice or learning about something that truly fascinates me. Facebook and Twitter can be useful – it depends on who you follow and what you do with them (or more to the point: what you don’t). Don’t be a zombie.

Be ruthless. There’s nothing to worry about – it’s easy to find out about something when the real need arises. There are also tools such as RSS that let us control precisely what we want to read.

It may sound like a big change and I guess it is. The thing is though, for me it’s been really effortless – even automatic. Nothing but a simple decision to spend my time better.

The result? I’m getting more ideas, my focus is much better and I have more time to spend on the important things in my life.


Reap the benefits

Clean up your mind from clutter. Shut down the noise. The benefits are massive. This is something that works for you quietly, without you having to sacrifice a thought.

Fill the newly created space with something that inspires you. I find myself reading a lot these days and learning new skills, and of course making more music.

Feed your brain with new interesting ideas. Get learning. Get creating. Do some exersice. Or simply do nothing, relax and enjoy the solitude. Start a meditation practice.

What are your thoughts on this? What have you done to improve your focus? Post your thoughts in the comments.


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  • Big up dude and stay at it

  • It happens there was an email waiting in my inbox this morning from Ben Settle about his news fast.

    You can read it here on his blog:

  • Good article.
    Big ups!
    Fuck TV…haven’t watched it for 6 years or so.

  • Hi,

    Yes mate couldn’t agree more… I haven’t watched telly for 6 years now and don’t touch newspapers and when you do you can easily see the propoganda that is pumped out daily.

    The worlds meadia is in the hands of 9 people. Soon to be 3!

    Love the tunes mate! Maximum respects

  • Really really the words that touches my life closely. I have that same issue with following news and being in facebook. That shit eats my time. You somehow helped me to even try to get out of this. I need to shut down my noise. i will start with cleaning my fb page.

    i think i love u.

  • I need to do this. Luckily I don’t watch TV anymore, but I spend too much time online just for the sake of spending it. Next time that mood hits me, I’ll hit the library.

    Really inspiring stuff.

  • Thanks for the comments. Clearly this is something that touches a lot of us these days.


    REAL TALK right there, keep up the good work Mr. Resound!

  • Word bro! Thank you 🙂

  • LM

    Big up Resound. Very inspirational at a time when I’m up to my eyeballs in university work and need as little distraction as possible!

    Totally agree on your comments about tv/facebook etc. I do use social media but I realise the amount of time wasted for not alot in return. I tend to only watch things online (BBC iPlayer/Youtube etc) – very often documentaries about things I’m interested in. Somehow we’re made to feel as though we should what’s going on in the news or, like you say, we’re deemed as being ignorant. Any major news worth knowing we’ll hear about anyway.

    • Yup and once you get rid of those old habits (and if you really want that, they don’t die hard.. they die easy)… You’ll be wondering why you didn’t do that sooner.

      It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy:

      Our subconscious thought patters circulate around whatever things we put our attention to.

      So if you start putting more attention to things that have a real meaning and value for you… And cut down on the noise..

      Very soon you’ll be concentrating better, you have more time.. And as a result you’ll be achieving so much more and feeling a lot happier.