In response to my post yesterday, Jeffrey Rubin commented that the smart people are choosing the information they take in rather than simply allowing themselves to be inundated by the unfiltered deluge of communication from myriad sources throughout our days... and nights. He refers to "cotton candy" information, the kind of communication that quickly dissolves and leaves us hungry for the real thing, not more of the fluff. Specifically, he said, "I think we need to focus on expanding inner space - so that we can be more creative and connected - rather than fill up our minds and hearts with more trivial 'cotton candy' data that initially seems appealing and rapidly leaves us hungry for more."
I can think of entire gatherings that produced not much more than cotton candy conversation. Some of them (lots of them) were business meetings from which I learned nothing. That happens rarely now because I pick and choose the gatherings I'll attend and make sure people are engaged once I get there.
One way to make sure your conversational diet - regardless of the setting - is nutritious and healthy is to filter the information that would otherwise bombard you.
A cardiologist told me last week of tests that measure the levels of stress in people after they've watched the evening news on television. It's amazing that information we think has no impact in fact does get reflected in our bodies as stress. Her advice? Don't watch TV news. TV news isn't just cotton candy... it's cotton candy that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.