Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sipping from the Firehose

I always had a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) when it came to reading. So was always a completist. Even since getting a subscription to Highlights, I would read magazines cover to cover (Even the articles meant for babies). (This was true for books too, and growing up I read literally every book I could find by Asimov, Clarke, Feist, Clancy, dozens each. Also true of video games; sandbox games drove me crazy, compelled to find every single easter egg.). For most of my adult life, I read (or at least skimmed) the Economist, the NY Times Sunday edition, and Time magazine from cover to cover (at times, also completing Bon Appetit, Smithsonian, American Photo, Harper's, American Scientist, the magazines for MIT, Stanford, Stanford GSB and Cornell, all at once, all mostly acquired haphazardly). This practice was especially exhausting with journals.

Finally learning to let the FOMO go. I have slowly shed all of my magazine subscriptions except for Time and the NY Times. Facebook signaled the beginning of this, with the infinite scrolling deliberately making it impossible to "finish." And now media has shattered, there is no trusted news aggregator, who curates all the news, instead you get only snippets tweeted or facebooked out from dozens of outlets like Vox that didn't even exist a year ago.

The other part of letting go came from realizing that I have more books on my bookshelf and kindle and movies in my netflix queue than I can ever finish in a lifetime. I suppose its good to let go.

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