Content glut and boredom
I recently wrote about how metrics in content aggregators have made me a shallow reader. It is one of the many banes that have come from my use of the internet.
A couple of days later, I once again find myself waddling in this subject. This morning I wondered whether my “shallow reading” is a symptom of overstuffing. The thought came to me from the following words by CJ Eller,
Our memory falls under the weight of words proliferated on the web. It doesn't matter if they come from an enlightened essay or an inane social media status.
There likely is a limit to how much content we can chew on a given basis. I have become aware that such is the case for me. For so long I've been dancing around that limit. My poor brain, I've been such a jerk!
I'll avoid excusing any of this gluttony to whatever societal pressure may exist. Say, “being up to date with the latest”, as if one were some poorly written software that needs patching everyday (are we?).
Let's consider instead how we may go about overstuffing. Take boredom for instance. For the sake of what follows I'll reduce “being bored” to “staying still”.
How quick have I been to pull out my phone during a red light, or between sets at the gym! And such grace with which it happens! Why is that some of us are so reluctant to staying still?
I'm not sure what the answer to that is. But now I'm pushing myself towards the other direction.
Here's a short list of things that I've started doing since that have helped:
- Put the phone in the car's glove compartment and lock that up before driving anywhere
- Leave the phone in the car's glove compartment while I'm somewhere that needs my attention
- Leave the phone at home when going for a walk
- Leave the phone outside the bedroom before heading to sleep
But, but, what if ...?
We gasp at the notion of disconnecting or becoming unreachable. But it is liberating. Jason Fried calls it JOMO.
If I'm somewhere, I'm nowhere else.
We tend to forget that ever-connectedness has only been commonplace in recent times. For so long we have survived staying still. Let's embrace that.
You may be wondering whether I'm using this blog to cope with some dreaded realizations of myself. Well, you might as well consider yourself warned. It is surprisingly effective.
Anyhow, I have been laundering thoughts on how we interact with the online world. I'm beginning to distill how some of that permeates into the offline world. If you have something to share to that end, please do! We could sign up for group therapy.