Today's Trending News Topics are...Stop the Madness!! by Joleen Bridges

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Joleen is a life-long Missouri resident and currently resides in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Besides writing, Joleen’s favorite things to do are; hang out with family, travel, read, and pretty much anything related to nature. Joleen is passionate about the topics of consciousness, enlightenment, spirituality and personal empowerment. Her debut book,Finding Home, Breaking Free from Limits, available at and on the book’s website, represents over 10 years of research and a lifetime of inspiration to present readers with a comprehensive look at understanding and releasing our self imposed limits to discover your authentic potential and divine authority to live a life by design.

Today’s Trending News Topics are ……… Stop the madness!!!

In preparing to research a blog article, I did a little web browsing on hot and trending topics. When I saw the biggest news trending, it really got me to thinking – What in the world are we thinking? Are you kidding me? Jennifer Lopez cuts her hair? Someone cuts off the lights during Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney performance? Also, breaking news – 98% of Americans distrust the internet. What? When I look at trending topics from all the major search engines and Twitter, over 75% are entertainment and sports celebrity based, and second place news is about the most highly sensationalized murder investigations and trials.

What does this obsession with news topics that have absolutely no true relevance to our lives mean? I have some theories and I have a feeling I will not be making too many friends by stating them, but I will anyway. Here are 4 reasons why we have crossed the abyss from self actualization to mind numbing rubbish.

Did you know there is actually a disease called Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)? We already are aware of many other serious diseases related to escapism. Substance abuse, gambling, shopping, or sexual addictions, eating disorders. Now we can add unlimited TV watching, Internet, Social Media, Gaming. Using these outlets means that there is never a time that we HAVE to sit down and address personal issues that we don’t want to because we can fill every single second with non-life fulfilling (from a growth, intellectual, and spiritual perspective) activities. Will we just keep coming up with ways to avoid our problems, issues, realities until we find our favorite escapism poison?

Cultural Overstimulation
I saw a cartoon the other day that showed a family driving in a car with mom, dad and the kids in the back. The little boy says to his parents, “We’re bored with TV, DVD, and the Internet. We want a human sacrifice.” It appears that the dull life of playing out in the street as a child, growing up to get married and pursue a meaningful career and enjoying friends, family, and country are not enough these days. Technology and progress are amazing and essential, but getting balance and perspective on life and life activities is not something we are doing a very good job at lately. Unplug yourself from the Matrix for awhile folks. You’re killing yourself and your brain. Go take a walk, pet a dog or for God’s sake read a book.

Does anyone besides myself see the irony of a predilection towards emptiness in the modern individual even though we have so much to be abundantly grateful for. Many today are missing out on some major timeless qualities that have kept the world going pretty strongly for the last 3,000 years or so. Those would be love, joy, compassion, intuitiveness, imagination, gratitude, true pride in a job well done, altruism, intimacy, service to others, faith and spirituality. When we have big holes in our lives, it is so much easier to fill our lives and our time with “stuff” other than face the changes that we might need to make to fill them in genuine ways.

Oppressive Consumerism and General Lack Mentality – What if today’s news feeds took a totally opposite approach from the way we currently receive our news? What if almost all of our news was about the good in the world, like; here is what is working right, who succeeded, who gave, community achievements, hero stories, stories that make our hearts soar, our mind expand and our lives richer. Yes, I know we get a “few” of these today, but they are at the bottom of the news hour, not at the top. What if we took the opposite approach? Where most of our news was uplifting, inspiring, motivating? Too boring? Not sensational enough? How did we get there????? Our entire culture is based on the bottom up approach, scraping the underbelly of the news to get the most reaction from the news watchers.

We are raised within our current culture to feel that from day one, we are starting out disabled in a dysfunctional society. Not enough money, education, opportunities, beauty, skinniness, hairiness, cars, trees, energy, to do, and on and on it goes. We take the easy way out to seek out products and services offered to fill in the gaps of our perceived lack and very rarely are we challenged to look at the one place that could most satisfy us in the long run – ourselves. Yet I contend that the human race is spectacular, miraculous and interesting. We are in our very diversity phenomenally blessed. I’m not giving up on us yet, but I sure am concerned.

There are thousands of solutions to these escalating mindsets and most of them all have to do with some type of self awareness. I know this “stuff” is fun and entertaining and I don’t begrudge anyone either of those in your lives, but when our top trending news topics bottom out to nothing more than silly gossip and gory sensationalism, we have to stop and ask ourselves how valuable this is and what kind of legacy we are building in our time. Do you think Plato, DaVinci, Einstein, or Thomas Jefferson would have succumbed to these siren songs of intellectual numbness?

Here’s an idea – how about trying to make richer choices on how we invest our time and applying some discernment with our interests and information intake. Let me tell you folks, this life you have is not a dress rehearsal. Every day gone is another day less that we have to live this life. Did you live it the way you really wanted? Did you “add” to your life this day? Did you add to someone else’s? These amazing products and services that are available to us today, like Internet, Games, Smart phones, Multimillion dollar movies in 3D, and so on are meant to serve us and benefit us, not drain the life blood out of us.

I hope you find this article thought provoking instead of critical. My intent is to get the pumper going in the old noggin and take a few minutes to contemplate our lives in the context of what are priorities are, spending our time valuably, and contributing to ourselves and to our communities. If you feel you have fallen asleep to some of these symptoms above, take some time to evaluate some needed changes in your life, for your own benefit. There is so much going on around you that is worth paying attention to – take a new approach and begin a process of discovery about you and your world that can really make a difference and add value to your life.


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