I can’t help but feel like I am being pulled in two very distinct directions. One pull says, “COOL STUFF IS EVERYWHERE and you MUST EXPOSE YOURSELF TO ALL OF IT!” and the other says, “You need to chill out and stop poking your brain every second of every day,”. Unfortunately, it appears this course is going to increase the strength of the first pull–the one that is already quite well muscled in my brain.
Signing up for 20 RSS feeds was the equivalent of opening 20 tabs that never close. Twitter? Now I have a third email to check way too often. I don’t know when these quizzes are going to get marked because I am too busy looking for a better way to give quizzes on Google + !
In the face of ever-customized, ever-appealing content, what is a person to do? One of the most simple learning lessons from this experience is well-written about over on DailyGood.com. The article on doing nothing was one of the most important things I’ve read all year. Its a monumental effort for me to just sit in one place and stare, but every time I actually do it, I am so grateful that I did!
All of this sounds like a pretty serious case of first world problems. “There is too much amazing content out there for me to handle”. In reality, I need to step back and tell myself things like this:
“I’ve done just fine up til now”
“Sometimes simple tools are more effective than complicated ones”
“All of that stuff isn’t going anywhere–I don’t need to know about it right this instant”
“Just because it is on someone’s blog/twitter/whatever, doesn’t mean it has any inherent value”
And most importantly:
“I have more important things to be doing”
It seems there is a bit of an intractable problem here. Even if I make the internet “come to me”, the amount of content that I would like to see (and process, and act on) will increase. I can’t say that searching for content is what takes up time–it is actually processing the content. Signing up for RSS feeds (even if I avoid the crush of Boing Boing and Gizmodo) will only serve to increase my screen time.