I admit it, and although that admission is generally the first step in ridding oneself of addictions, it has never worked for me.
That may be because my addiction is, especially in the 21st century, a socially acceptable one. People congratulate me on my addiction, on the fact that I know so many trivial facts. It’s a small joy but joy nonetheless when somebody asks an unusual question and I know the answer to it.
I’m addicted to all kinds of things. I’m addicted to reading. I’m addicted to news – on TV, radio, or on paper. I’m addicted to politics (which feeds into my news addiction). I’m addicted to – I hesitate to call it information, because I’m not addicted to Facebook or Twitter or any other social media – but I suppose I can say I am addicted to information of all kinds. Good information. Bad information. Trivial information. Important information.
If I tried to define what my addiction truly is, I guess it is to anything which feeds my brain. Yes, I have preferences (see above). But if I can’t find those? I’ll access any kind of information.
So when I’m bored (which happens rarely – see above) or I’m waiting for something or someone (which happens much more often as I’m always early) I often check out what happened on that particular day in history even though history isn’t one of the things I generally read or watch for. I love the things I find out. Every day I’ve ever searched had at least one thing that fascinated me.
My April 10 birthday? In 837 (and how in the hell do they know this?), Halley’s Comet and Earth experienced their closest approach to one another. This leads me to Halley, because I’m absolutely certain he wasn’t alive in 837 and so how in the hell did he know this? I’ll follow this thread until I’m satisfied.
And October 24? In 1901 Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. It’s not the fact it happened, it’s the fact that it was a woman. And that it was her 63rd birthday when she did it. Now I want to know more about her.
October 24 also seems to be a day when a disproportionate number of wars or battles have ended, from 69 with the Second Battle of Bedriacum (don’t ask me, I don’t really care about that part of it) to 1973 with the Yom Kippur War. I want to know why. Is it because it’s the onset of winter? Is it because soldiers get paid quarterly and the generals don’t want to pay for the fourth quarter? There must be a reason. And one day, I hope I’ll find out what it is because it’s going to bug me until I do.
What’s your information addiction?