I need a break. This column has nothing to do with optical or frames or retailing or dispensing or independents vs. chains. I know. I know. You’re thinking I ALWAYS do that...but this time it’s for real.

This go-round I want to talk about information. You know. That “stuff” you absorb from TV or books or online or magazines or at classes. Or maybe it’s what you hear from friends or enemies and remember to keep them closer... you will learn more—or your kids or your parents.

Wow. You’re getting bombarded with information. What do you trust? Who do you listen to? What do you need to remember? And perhaps, more importantly, what can you simply forget without wasting any time or zapping any brain cells. (I could have added eye strain to that input scenario, but I promised to keep optics out of this.)

And all of that information has a whole other layer commonly known as You. Yes, you. You are perhaps the biggest and conceivably most important aspect of any information you seek or stumble upon. Your input shapes that information into the most viable ingredient needed to shape information into communication.

Fer’ instance: Yes, indeed the recent presidential election was important and certainly the details you culled from the web and television and newspapers and magazines were equally critical in amassing an understanding of what you face as a citizen of these United States. But equally important at this critical junction is your input, your thoughts and your voice in moving forward.

That is the most important aspect of any information used in a communication context. For many years I have been a proponent of the maxim that the medium is not the message. It is, in fact, the MESSAGE that is the message. A person needs to be receptive to all media sources be it web sites, newspapers, magazines, TV... or radio. And you constantly need to interject your words and thoughts into that info-brew. Don’t think they aren’t listening.

They are. We need to know you and where you go for your best info. Talk to us at www.2020mag.com or at our 2020&U blog or directly to me at jspina@jobson.com or write to 20/20 at 100 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY, 10013. You are our biggest prize.            

—James J. Spina