November 04, 2015

Making Up My Mind

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Okay, okay, I’ve always been indecisive. I’m never normally the one to choose the restaurant, or the one to pick which movie to watch on Netflix (because it would take hours, I scroll very slowly). I’ve never been the person who can pick out what to wear with ease and lay it out on the bed the night before.

I don’t procrastinate often, but when I do it’s because I’m faced with a decision to make. I’ll sleep on it, I think. But pretty much everything in life is a fork in the road. Dramatic, but true. Every thing is a potential Sliding Doors moment. Should I do this, or that? I dilly dally, avoid decisions — and I’ve been known to cancel both things if I’ve double-booked by accident.Because: please don’t make me choose.

But this post is about more than that: I’ve been reflecting on whether the Internet has made it harder to decide on things. I feel more on the fence right now than ever before about a whole host of different topics.

I’ll be reading one think-piece whilst sipping on my tea and think “yeah…she’s got a point there.” Then I’ll read the follow-up piece, written by another journalist with her counter-argument burning through the screen. “Hmm..I kind of agree with her, too.”

We’re in a culture of either reacting by being Outraged or Over-The-Moon. Sometimes, I just want to be both, at the same time. I don’t want to immediately agree, or immediately disagree — I just want to read, and digest.

We’re in a prime-time media-age where we have thousands and thousands of little thought-bullets catapulted into our brains every which way, and it’s hard to keep up with it all. It’s hard to know, sometimes, which direction to go in.

Safety in numbers, right?

Wrong. We know it’s not always wise to follow Those Who Shout The Loudest. Going along with the herd is not always a helpful thing to do.

OK, sure, we all know the basics of not being a dick — but when it comes to very nuanced arguments, I often find it a murky water to navigate. I find sometimes the best thing to do is to shut myself off and go and think about it in quiet downtime. On a walk. In the pub. In the bath, lathering up my hair I’ll suddenly think: “aaaah — so hang on — yep, this is what I think aboutthat.”

It’s important to know what you think.

But, sometimes it is a longer process of getting there.

Often when I write a piece, having gone through the process of asking myself what do I really think over and over again I get to the conclusion and I breathe a long breath out. Therapeutic, you could say.

Sometimes you need to step the fuck away, to realise what you think, without a million different Two Cents Worth.

Reading articles that claim to have The Definitive Answer are just as bad. The amount of times I read through something and realise that the way it’s been written is subconsciously tricking the reader into scanning the piece as facts. Opinions and points of view have never been facts. Neither are lists such as “10 Ways You Should Live Your Life”. Lifestyle articles guide us in so many different directions. Every list telling a different urgent story.

Most of stuff on the Internet that makes people feel like their life could be better is not a fact.

So: this is what I think. Read, talk, debate, engage. But make sure no one is trying to push their shit on to you. Make up your own mind. But be sure to see all angles.

And guess what? It’s also OK to change your mind.

As much as you want to. Twenty times a day if you like.

But don’t listen to me. I’m just talking to myself here.

  • You’re right, it’s tough sometimes not to feel like not having a staunch position on something makes you uninformed or ignorant. When in fact being open minded is actually a strength.

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