Arianna Huffington still remembers a speech Will.i.am delivered eight years ago. “You said one thing that I kept repeating,” Huffington recalled when the two sat down for the Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number. “You said, ‘We used to consume news sitting on a couch and now we consume news galloping on a horse… And we consume it faster and faster.’”
Today, Will.i.am is even more passionate about navigating our fast-paced age of information. [We’re] consuming information at the speeds of space travel,” he tells Huffington on the podcast. “There’s no absorbing.” He also added that with new devices and ongoing access to the Internet, the large volume of information can lead to misguided facts that could be unhealthy. “There’s so much information being thrown around that it’s hard to keep up to know what’s real and what’s fake. It’s being done systematically to confuse.”
When asked about a possible fix, Will.i.am says the solution is to do your research, keep calm, and do your best to maintain perspective. “Take a deep breath” and “be empathetic,” he suggests. “When you’re coming from love and empathy… you’re going to have a different perspective: a calmer, more understanding patience.”
We often talk about the importance of setting healthy boundaries with our devices. Staying present can be difficult when we struggle to look up as we spend the day scrolling through our feeds and digesting vast amounts of information from the palms of our hands. But by being mindful of our screen time, we can better avoid the feelings of anxiety and stress that often come with digital engagement – and Will.i.am’s philosophy coincides with these habits.
“[When] you’re impatient, not tolerant, [and have] no empathy,” he explains, “Information is gonna be handled the same way.” By implementing small efforts to navigate mindfully, we can enjoy the benefits of our devices, but prevent the overwhelming burnout that so many face. “You have misinformation being thrown and bombarding you,” Will.i.am says. “It’s noisy in 2018.”