I eat a lot. I consume RSS feeds daily. I read skim-milk magazines and struggle to swallow almost inedible soggy things call ‘news’papers. I watch TV about busted science experiments, shark hunting and auctions. I read how to create a geodesic dome treehouse. I read how to attain happiness by stopping certain habits. I read how Microsoft is trying to become ‘cool’. I listen to the latest Podcast from a writing blog discussing when Good Characters Go Bad. I look at the days ‘best’ art done by highly talented people. I read how to create an Arduino door lock with RFID. I read about ancient battles and Spartan warriors. I watch the latest trailer for an upcoming movie. I read about some Booker prize winning book or JK Rowlings trying to prove she can write for an older crowd. I read about the latest murder and workers strike
Yet somehow, after all this consumption, I still do not feel satisfied. I draw no conclusions, form no opinions and even though I do not just blindly believe what I am reading, I seldom actively question anything.
I am the blob with a feeding tube. Feed me, Seymour!
Sure I am repulsed by the latest bout of violence and am annoyed by the stupidity of local politics and worried by the latest economic report. Who isn’t, but beyond that initial emotion, I make no further evaluation of what I am reading. I don’t decide if I agree with something or not, I just absorb it. It’s not a question of comprehension – I think I can figure out that the news article I am reading is about another corrupt official. It’s just that I don’t think beyond that initial moment of consumption.
Like a fat man and a doughnut. “It’s a doughnut, I’m eating it. It tastes nice.” He does not think about how its taking him one step closer to adult diabetes or chronic obesity. He is just eating the doughnut. Does he sit back after and think about anything or does he just find the next doughnut?
I think its a by product of information overload. Read everything and hope to hell you remember something worthwhile 6 months from now. During my 8-5 life, I always liked to keep abreast of technology related to whatever I was involved with at the time (I still do sometimes) – the thing is that there was always too much to process and the pile got bigger, never smaller. Eventually even my ReadItLater (now Pocket) and Bookmarks needed a search engine. I would skim articles, and (luckily) remember them when someone made a comment that would immediately move them from my ReadItLater box to an active task. I’d seem the most well informed, well read person in the room. What rubbish, I just learnt how to use Tupperware and shrink-wrap the food for later.
With my change of role, I am not sure why I am still stuck in “gatherer hoarder” mode.
Here’s to actually slowing down and really reading what I am eating. Nothing like enjoying something fresh rather than re-heated brown slop from 6 months ago that I found at the back of the freezer.