Like many people these days, I enjoy perusing the internet for news of what is happening in the world. It's great to learn about interesting people and faraway lands beyond the reach of my day-to-day existence. Internet news channels cover vast amounts of information and the content is constantly changing so you are always bound to find something fascinating to read.
But access to too much information can drive you crazy.
I came to the realization I was reading too much internet news when I had the opportunity to spend the night alone in a hotel room while visiting relatives. I was blissfully propped up in a fluffy bed and began to browse the latest news on my iPad. I skimmed past Taylor Swift's latest romantic woes and the article detailing "10 Ways to Properly Cut Your Toenails" and searched for something that piqued my interest. Then I saw it..."Python Kills Security Guard Near Luxury Hotel "
(Just a little factoid about me before I continue: I am deathly afraid of snakes. They totally creep me out, and I am sure they are Satan's minions just lurking around the next bend waiting to eat me alive.)
Since I was currently situated in a luxury hotel, I had to click on the link and read it. One must be informed of the potential dangers of sleeping where giant snakes might kill you even though the thought of knowing this information brought me much anxiety. After I read the article, I clicked on a related link and read "40 Pythons Found in Hotel Room."
And then another link: "Snake in Toilet Bites Man's Penis"
Sensing a trend which might leave me dead by morning, I decided I was not going to be a victim. Given the preferred method of sneaking up on innocent people was through the toilet, I went in the bathroom and shut the lid. After a minute or two, I realized a giant killer python would just pop the lid open so I began to search for things to put on it to weigh it down:
The lamp and desk chair weren't heavy enough.
The sofa was heavy enough, but I needed some help getting it in the bathroom. I wasn't sure if the front desk would call 911 for a potential mental crisis if I asked them to come help me, so I scratched it off the list.
The sitting room chair was heavy enough but, apparently, was bolted to the floor.
I scanned the room desperately once more and finally decided the microwave was heavy enough, portable enough, and, if it wouldn't deter a killer snake, perhaps it would give the snake the idea to make some popcorn therefore giving me a chance to escape. The popping sound would wake me and alert me to the fact there was a killer serpent having an appetizer before eating me. Satisfied with my plan, I smugly thought, "If only people had thought of this before, they wouldn't have their genitals bitten," and hopped back into bed.
After a few minutes of bliss, the thought popped into my head that I might have lost my fucking mind. What, in the name of all that's holy, would make me act this way?
Too much information is to blame. I know I have freedom of choice and do not have to click on every weird and scary story, but it's on all the news sites all the time. I like to be an informed person and can't help but click on articles which may alert me to some unknown danger. Sometimes, I think news sites prey on common phobias people suffer from to get more page views. They then can turn to advertisers and say "The page your ad was on got 10,000 views!" But would you want your business to be advertised next to the article about a dismembered head being found in a refrigerator?
I think I will take a break from reading internet news for a while. I'm sure if there's something I really need to know, I will hear it from my friends... unless they've all been eaten by snakes in the toilet.