Is it TMI or something else?

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From our Muslim chaplain

A continuation from last week’s post, there seem to be a sizeable number of people not willing to take the risk of having the COVID vaccine because of potential side effects. Aren’t side effects from any medication or injection something to be expected? Perhaps it is a case of too much information (or TMI), that is a factor towards this phenomenon of lack of vaccine uptake?

Along with; the lack of substantial research, lack of trust in politicians (you don’t say?!), big pharma making a huge pile of money (which is completely understandable tbh), the risk of potential side effects has been cited by many (1 in 20 people in the UK according to Freeman, describe themselves as anti-vaccination for CV-19) and I think it’s because people are watching videos and sharing social media posts- that highlight the side-effects, over and over again. This constant drip feed is causing subconscious negativity towards the potential side effects, and leading to a greater fear of getting these side effects, that may or may not happen!

Infobesity is a term that comes to mind here- coined for when we are feeding our minds with too much information, much of which is not useful. Julie Christopher, writing for Huffpost discusses this new-age problem in further detail, and she highlights some of the consequences. Fatigue, lack of confidence and poor decision-making; are among a list of eight things that can result from infobesity, and the sad fact about all of this, is that we often don’t even realise its happening to us! This is one of the dangers of too much information and being constantly switched-on to our devices.

The solution? Limit our time on devices and get back to the basics. Play board games or read a book, and spend quality time with the family. After all we’re in the house together! Reflect on the information we are taking in and how this might be affecting on our moods and our relationships. Islam teaches us about beneficial knowledge and there is a particular prayer whereby we ask Allah for that. So let us seek knowledge that benefits us and not that which makes us doubt the truth and makes us less confident.

Further Reading:

*Charlemagne – Why is Europe so riddled with vaccine scepticism? | Europe | The Economist

*COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK | University of Oxford

*The Infobesity Epidemic – How to Deal with Information Overload | HuffPost

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