Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Too Much Information.....

I finally figured out why I am now only finishing 1 book a month - RSS feeds.

On my iPOD - 155 podcasts - both video and audio. I get, on average, 10 new episodes each day.

On Google Reader - 39 subscriptions. If I don't read the posts 1 weekday, I have over 100 posts to read. At some point I'll figure out how to create a listfeed to connect to this blog.

On - 38 items. I'm limiting this to professional interests. Add 20 more sites regularly viewed from IE favorites,

eMail - 3 accounts (I'm only talking personal accounts). Average 30 e-mails a day from various newsletter sources. I'm not even including spam or e-mails from friends and family.

This doesn't include TV, Radio, web research, and other forms of media I use every day.

It's a wonder I get outside and talk to anyone.

Does anyone else feel pressure to keep up with all this stuff?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think your question is best addressed by reflecting on what is the best use of your mental and emotional energy. What is the quality of the material you are hectically keeping abreast of? How challenging is it? How gratifying? How much does it demand of you and how much do you contribute to it?

If the answers to these questions seem one-sided, then the media is getting the best of you. In such a situation, you may be gleaning impressions from the myriad subjects, but likely as not, you aren’t truly learning them. They are more like distractions, a hobby, but not a truly mind expanding one.

My own great weakness is in researching equipment that I will never actually use. I plan trips and adventures, design kinetic motion machines or crossbow triggers, but I don’t actually build them. I don’t even acquire the tools I need to realize these projects. I just surf the net researching who makes what I need to finish the next step of whatever plan I have been hatching. Then I make a note or a sketch, and move forward to nowhere.

This habit used to drive my friends and my mother a little crazy. But that’s okay, because this hobby (or compulsion), is mine. I’ve long since come to realize that I am just occupying my time in a way that lends itself easily to my psychology. There are other things I should be doing, but I cannot always summon the will or the circumstances to bring those things about.

In the end, information overload (for you), or intricate unproven inventiveness (for me) is a useful way to keep at arms length from oneself. Sometimes that’s necessary. Just don’t disappear in it so long as to become undisciplined at what truly matters, or to become a droning spinster.