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Ryan Banfill

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Information > Fantasy

Posted: 09/20/2013 12:10 pm

I enjoy the trivial pursuit of fodder for morning water cooler discussions as much as the next person. My main interests are music, politics and sports.

I hit the jackpot when Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers fell into my lap during my recent fantasy football draft. I've got two of the best quarterbacks in the game on my team, Beast Mode Posse, in our Sachs Media Group league.

There's something about fantasy football that enhances game days. I spend many a Sunday glued to the computer screen watching stats come in from every game. Nearly every play in every contest can make or break my week.

Yes, I'm a fantasy football addict. While many people like me love it, there are others who take it way too seriously.

Ray Rice is a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He suffered a serious injury during the second week of this year's NFL season. Some fantasy owners lashed out at the Super Bowl champ because his early game injury ruined their point totals for the week.

As seriously as people take fantasy football, maybe we could end gridlock in Washington by creating "fantasy politics" where Americans form leagues, draft politicians and get points for bills passed and progress made? Seeing how people hold NFL players accountable for performance on the field, maybe people would be glued to the action on Capitol Hill with "fantasy politics."

This brings me to a real "eat your veggies before having dessert" question: As good members of society, shouldn't we be more engaged in things that really matter?

It's no surprise people get lost in fantasies of all kinds.

Every minute an array of interruptive information stressors open up on us like the famous fire hoses Bull Connor turned on children seeking civil rights in the 1960s.

People must push through a strong electronic stream that drenches them in cable news political food fights; "entertainment" reports on the latest starlet who's coming apart at the seams; an audio alert to check an afterhours e-mail that demands a response but really could wait until the morning; and the facelift wearing red-carpet B-movie star bleating who "Oscar" loves this year.

We are a nation that is increasingly focused on the latest shiny object. We are so easily distracted that I wonder if President Nixon would have survived Watergate if today's multifaceted media environment had existed in the 1970s.

What should we do? We could just keep eating the dessert that is infotainment and ignore the gory details of life in the modern world. We could make like Mr. Anderson/Neo and unplug from the info-matrix. Or we could pack up canned goods, exile ourselves to the woods and live in a camper van for the rest of our time.

These are not the right choices to make. Not today.

It is critical that we get engaged, educated and excited about our world.

Information is the ticket.

The old saying about information being power is still true. And there is gold in information.

Although often the events truly make the movie Idiocracy look like a documentary instead of fiction, we are blessed to live during a time where a motivated person can discover important information that can shape our future for the better.

I heard a fascinating report on NPR's Weekend Edition about the book 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin. One fact stood out for me: There is more information in one edition of The New York Times than the average person in 17th-century England would have come across in an entire lifetime.

This is a golden media age where people can access information, use it to shape their opinion and rapidly share the information and their views through social media outlets.

This is an exciting time. Anyone can be a broadcaster today and there's a lot of power at our fingertips. It can be used to promote the trivial or to spread truth. However we use information, let's resolve to use it boldly and responsibly to do good things.

Be smart and live the dream.

 

Follow Ryan Banfill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RyBan1001

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