Endless Content

January 10, 2018

When I think about all the books I’ll never read, the movies and TV shows I’ll never see, podcasts I’ll never hear, and the games I’ll never play; I get a bit overwhelmed. It sounds a bit mid-life crisis’y, but sometimes it feels like the world and news is moving so fast, I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of endless content.

And this is just the content I actually want to engage with!

Blogs made everyone an author, Podcasts made everyone a radio show host, Twitter made everyone a celebrity, YouTube made everyone a broadcaster, Instagram made everyone a photographer, and Twitch is making everyone your lazy roommate. The Web has democratized content production and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I read the Internet so much I feel like I’m like on page a million of the worst book ever.” –Aziz Ansari

My wife and I regularly cite this when referring to social media. After kids go to bed, we’ve got maybe ~2 hours to entertain hobbies and interests, but all too often we stare into our pocket screens, thumbing mindlessly through algorithmically-served content.

I’ve started stepping away from Twitter. I’m okay with free speech, but I’m not okay with nation states (mine) threatening nuclear war. I’ve decided I don’t want to contribute to and help build @jack’s platform anymore.

Stepping away is difficult because Twitter is an addiction. It’s the first thing I want to look at when I wake up and the last thing I want to look at when I go to bed. You might say I’m in love with the app. But I’ve got a strategy and I’ve uninstalled apps and sign out of Twitter when I’m not using it.

I already feel an immense reduction stress. My phone is no longer a beacon of outrage, instead it’s almost… useless.

I’ve been flirting with Mastodon, but the design is uncomfortable and it gets quiet at night. But maybe that’s a good thing.

With my newfound free time, I’m looking forward to reading some books, playing some games, and listening to some podcasts. But this is an endless conquest, there will be more things to click tomorrow. So I’ll stand waist-deep and punch fiercely at the waves crashing on the shore.