Overconsumption of Information - Deepstash

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Overconsumption of Information

Overconsumption of Information

The Internet has made it so we can consume and share a seemingly unending amount of content on the topic of living most effectively. However, this access to information has made us realize how conflicting most ideas are. It has revealed that the world is basically without any discernible truth, and most ideas about how to live are inconclusive and unreliable. This could perhaps be a major contributing factor to the modern world's increasing levels of anxiety.

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Jean-Paul Sartre and Existentialism

Jean-Paul Sartre was born in 1905 in Paris, France and is considered to be one of the main popularizers of existential thinking. For Existentialists, life has no fundamental meaning or truth beyond what is created by our decisions and actions within it. 

The core of Existential thought is the the notion that as humans, we have no predetermined purpose, and consequently, there is no specific way to live. Rather, both purpose and a way to live comes only from living life and making choices within it. And we are free to choose what we do.

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The Solution

We can't make any choice knowing if it will or won't be what's best for us, and so we should not look for or expect any ultimate answers that will.

This doesn't mean that we should not engage in, consume, consider, or share ideas, research, and philosophies about life, but we should be skeptical in our considerations, and mitigate our expectations accordingly. In many ways, ideas for how to live are just as much art and entertainment. No matter how wise a piece of advice may seem, there is nothing to suggest that anyone else can form a better idea for how to live than one's own self.

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The Root Of Anxiety

For Sartre, there are endless ways to live and all are equally absurd, all equally meaningless, and all equally worthy. We have freedom to mold life any way we wish, coupled with a deep desire for wanting to mold it as best we possibly can. But we lack any ability to know if our choices are good or bad or right or wrong. And hence, we can never know if what we choose is what's best for us. 

This access to endless information and potential solutions to dealing with life has given rise to increasing anxieties, depressions and confusions.

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Jean-Paul Sartre

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE

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So How Do We Live?

So How Do We Live?

When one realizes and accepts that there are no fundamental rules or truths in the world of human existence, the individual becomes self-aware of their freedom and realizes that they don't have to do anything specific in life. The pressure and anxiousness of constantly searching for the right way to live can be alleviated, and instead, we can look inwards, consider how we wish to experience life, and work to mould ourselves and choices accordingly. 

We can use our uniquely assembled self to fulfill a uniquely assembled life, realizing our full potential, accepting the uncertainties, and making the endurance of existence personally worth it.

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JEAN-PAUL SARTRE

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE

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