Defragging in the Information Age: Why Mindfulness Matters More Than Ever

From my coffee shop desk: dozens of people pass into and out of my periphery every minute of every hour I sit here.


I often muse on how each of these people is filled up with information: thoughts, stories both true and invented, histories of their own and of their ancestors, everything they learnt at school, everything they saw even on their way to passing through my consciousness just this morning.

It’s all energy, as we know. We’re radiating, crackling, abuzz with positive charge from our steady diets of data.


In a single day, the average person gathers up 34gb of information just in their leisure time, five times more than in 1986.

Take all the information on your screen just now while you read this.

Just one page on a single tab of the dozens I’ll bet you have layered behind it. Just an infinitesimal fraction of the size of the internet, and nobody knows how big that is, it’s beyond accurate estimation, but web traffic hit 2 zettabytes this year.


From the dawn of civilization to 2003, 5 exabytes of data was created. We now generate that amount every 2 days.


The information stored in the average body today is equal to 75 billion fully loaded 16gb iPads and we can keep downloading: our brains can’t run out of storage.

My last Uber drove me home to a soundtrack of the 90s and I knew every word of every song that played. I hadn’t heard those songs for more than twenty years yet the lyrics were still stored in my biological downloads folder.

What are we doing with all of this information? Is it making us more successful as a race? As individuals? Are we happier?


It’s dense. But it drives home the importance of resting from mental processing.

Preserving our intrinsic knowledge in the face of extrinsic data.

Learning how to be mindful of what we let into our energy fields, minds and bodies in the first place.

Getting outside to get our skin onto the grass to neutralise the charge.

Remembering to drop into the space and silence that still somehow exists inside us, in the gaps between the information.

We pay so much attention to the food we eat, making sure we get enough exercise and sleep, but do we place equal value on making sure we take a minute every day to take a breath; just a moment to dine on some air instead of 1s & 0s.

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