The web is wonderful. In the span of an hour, I discovered:
- 2 new blogs that geek out about stuff I’m into:
- More books to add to my reading list, courtesy of Coding Horror.
- A new podcast: The Ezra Klein Show on How to oppose Trump without becoming more like him.
- Who the hell Jon Skeet is.
All that stemmed just from reading a blog post from way back in my backlog.
Coming across content like this is great, but it’s also a reminder of how quickly I lose myself in drinking from the firehose of the web.
A deeper problem
I think the consumption of content is less noteworthy than the mindset that I drift into when it happens. I find that I become almost mindlessly hungry for the next piece I read, watch or listen to to extend the knowledge I just gained. In some cases, I barely finish digesting the entire piece before looking for the next one.
This happens less often when I’m on the move because my attention is broken when I need to get to my next transfer. Futhermore, I inevitably have to stop when I reach my destination. However, if this happens when I’m sitting at home, the hours slip by easily.
I see this as no different from the rabbit hole that people often fall into when scrolling through poorly curated Facebook content and endless Instagram feeds. It’s a total immersion that I’m not fond of because I’m allowing myself to chase the every little thing that catches my attention. It’s like I’m surrendering navigation controls to my monkey brain.
It’s good to be absorbing as much as I can and want to, but I’d like for it to happen on my terms. The long term solution would be to do this while being completely mindful of my actions. To quote Naval Ravikant, I’d like my mind to constantly be running on debug mode. This way, I can pinpoint exactly when my vision starts to narrow and take action.
Although I’m already working towards this, these are still early days. I expect it to be normal for a blip or two to come up occasionally as I train myself not to consume more than I can control.