Your Attention Please: Sensory Overload, the Internet … and a Child at Risk

by Robert Arvay

Imagine yourself driving in a car with four other people; the road follows precariously alongside the edge of a cliff. The radio reports that your road has been washed away either behind you or ahead and you must make a decision about navigation, while your passengers are all trying to divert your attention to their own, individual issues. There is a red warning light flashing on your dash console and a buzzer is sounding an alert, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and confused.

That confused feeling is called sensory overload, a point at which you have more signals coming in through your senses than your brain can process. The results may range from mild annoyance, to accidentally driving off the cliff.

This is an analogy to what is occurring with most of us during this new era of Internet usage, except we call the condition “information overload.” Begin reading any important news item on the Internet; as you get to certain words, such as economy, war, medical and biotech, you notice those “keywords” are linked to other news items on websites so that one may get more information about that word/phrase that you just read within that news item. When you start reading those pages, you find that there are even more links to more related websites (or pages) … by the time you follow all of the links, you will have read most of the entire Internet.

That is an exaggeration of course, but it makes a valid point.

Recently, I have been following the news. Here is what is happening … Hold on to your seat:

Iran is yet again threatening to wipe Israel off the map with the nuclear weapons that it says it is not developing except for peaceful purposes. North Korea is making similar threats against South Korea with the added credibility of its periodic artillery attacks on the South. Scientists are developing a quantum computer which will make our most powerful present-day super-computers look like caveman technology. Those computers will be able to do things that no human can understand. The United States is effectively bankrupt. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has been giving guns to Mexican drug cartels who are committing mass murders with them. The Obama administration is forbidding prayer at funerals in military cemeteries. The United States is sending jobs and money to China, as well as borrowing money from the Chinese so that we can send them those jobs. Scientists think they may have discovered the Higgs boson (a hypothetical, elementary particle – the “God particle.” See ScientificAmerican for more info), which may revolutionize the way we think of the universe. Other scientists are trying to prove that the entire universe is a hologram, which will make the Higgs Boson discovery look like child’s play.

I have thirty more pages of news items and almost every word on every page is linked and cross referenced to other news items. You really do have to know the definition of a qubit to understand any of this …

… But my editor snipped those thirty pages, so use your imagination.

Recently, I saw a news item that was the proverbial final straw. It was about a three year old girl named Miranda Wilkerson. In a custody dispute straight out of an Orwellian future, a Florida judge handed Miranda over to her deceased mother’s husband. According to news accounts, he is not Miranda’s biological father; what he is, is a registered sex offender, a statutory rapist, who has never lived with Miranda, and never would have if Miranda’s mother not been killed in an automobile accident. Until she was handed over, Miranda lived happily in a loving household with her biological grandmother.

Miranda’s happiness, well-being and safe home apparently didn’t matter to the judge. The distraught protests of her blood relatives, the child’s unfamiliarity with her mother’s widowed husband, the well-documented intransigence of sex offenders and the horrible danger into which Miranda is now been placed – none of this seems to matter one whit to the judge.

I began contacting everyone I could think of to try to get justice for Miranda. I contacted Florida legislators, churches, state agencies, a university, the attorney general, the governor and all my email contacts, asking them to ask their contacts, to implore the government to do something on Miranda’s behalf.

So far, the case is mired in legal-schmeegle, while irreparable harm is likely being done to a child.

In the meantime, the nation plummets toward bankruptcy, the world lights the fuse of global war and the very universe itself has become unstable due to a parallel dimension colliding with ours.

I don’t care. I’ve shut out all the sensory overload. All that matters now is Miranda. If that problem cannot be solved, then nothing can.

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad

2 thoughts on “Your Attention Please: Sensory Overload, the Internet … and a Child at Risk

  1. This is an excellent article on the phenomenon of sensory overload in daily life. It must be what ADHD/ADD and Asbergers kids feel. I find that I suffer from it frequently. The problem is that taking the inputs away doesen't take away the sensation. It is actually painful to do so and you go into a sensory withdrawl for a few days. The only thing I found that cures me is to push the overload until I can't take any more which invokes kind of a mental reboot that clears the psychic noise.

  2. Robert, I've been following your quest to help little Miranda. I gladly contacted the links that you posted in previous blogs, and will continue to do so if you have any other officials that you feel need contacting. God Bless you for fighting for Miranda.

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