I’ve always been acutely aware that most people’s conversations, as well as most media output (be it film, TV, or music), recycle existing knowledge, opinions, and information. When I was younger (in my teens), this caused me quite a lot of pain. It was painful because I felt my brain dying a bit more every time I had to talk to or listen to someone or something, or see stuff that I already knew. Maybe it’s some kind of psychological thing (though I don’t really believe in Psychology as such), along the following lines:
- subconsciously, I’m aware of death
- therefore, I want to remind myself of being alive
- my brain only feels alive when stimulated with new information (there’s probably even some neurological reason to this – i.e. new information –> brain is stimulated –> endorphins released, or something like that)
- whenever it has to put up with the tedium of old information, it feels death more acutely, as time is ticking away. I.e. time that my brain should be using to be stimulated, rather than killed by other people’s or media’s tedium
In my late teens and early twenties, I took out my hatred of generic people and media forcing their old information upon me on myself (I’ve still got some scars to show for it).
Over the years, I’ve learned to live with the hatred and in fact I even occasionally use platitudes to engage in generic conversations, where required. The whole issue is no longer as important to me – I have ‘grown up’ a bit and my mind is better at computing old and new information (I tend not to take old information in – it simply registers as noise. In a conversation where old information is presented, I use minimal responses (‘mmh’, ‘yeah’) without listening to what the other person is in fact saying).
My favourite ways of gathering and processing new information is by reading good books and watching good films (‘good’ as in intelligent, informative, new, stimulating). I can’t stand sitting in front of the telly in the evening, having to sit through some dire ‘old information’ TV program or film. Quite often, I sit in the lounge with my BF (to be physically present) but my mind is absent. In such a situation, I play the PSP or read the paper or a book while sitting and ‘watching’ the telly.
I don’t know if this hatred of old information is pathological in some way. I’m also really NOT open to new people and their interests and their stories. I see them and listen for 2 minutes, then I’ve heard enough. I don’t give them a chance. I’m just not interested in engaging with something or someone that my brain registers as ‘old’ and therefore ‘not stimulating’. I really believe it’s got something to do with death, and fear of death, and basically, that my brain wants to be stimulated and grow and understand as many new things before death as possible. It’s as if new information is directly linked to feeling alive and happy, and old information causes feelings of hatred, and subconsciously reminds me of death.