I always have headphones in my ears, or at least one ear...often, they're not even playing, but I feel like I need to have something cued up and ready to go, and it doesn't really even matter what it is. Probably 75% of the time it's a podcast, maybe 20% music and 5% audiobook. But *something*. I can't be separated from my gadgets for too long.
This. Is a problem.
I subscribe to 36 podcasts - some sports (PTI, Olbermann, Tony Kornheiser, Bill Simmons), some news / pop culture (Slate stuff, the Bugle, NPR, Marc Maron), some technology, and whatever Merlin Mann is doing. They're great - I've learned a lot, laughed a lot, all the things that you might get from listening to NPR 24/7. But there's also a burden...I refresh my feeds every morning, and find out that I've got 14 hours of new content to listen to, and who the hell can listen to that much, and I guess I have to delete that episode, but I might miss something and then what?
I suppose it's similar to how I would feel if I had a TIVO - all those shows that I want to watch so that I'm hip to what's happenin', but I'd have to stay up until 2 AM every night to keep up. Same thing.
I don't generally "surf" the web. I use a service called Feedly to track websites that I want to keep up on. Again - Sports (MGoBlog, Every Day Should Be Saturday, Grantland), Apple stuff, Running (Runners World, several runner blogs that I like), News / Opinion, Productivity stuff, Design / Architecture - if I think a website is interesting or important to follow and they have an RSS feed, I add them to my list and I see all of it, whenever it's updated.
I have over 90 websites in my list. Some update once or twice a day, but some do it...like, 20 or 30 times a day. I'll open feedly at lunchtime, and see that I have 200 new items to read. So I spend 20 minutes grinding through the list reading headlines and possibly a paragraph (at most) and saving the interesting ones for later reading and / or regretful deletion. When something newsworthy happens in the Apple universe, I literally see the same damn headline five times, and it's rare that I read even the first full article on the subject. It's all too much.
Then, I'll get home and open up facebook to see pictures of food. Pictures of dogs. "Biff likes a page." Political screeds. Lousy grammar. Oh, there's a cool photo of my niece, that's cool...aaaaand, back to dog photos. I realized a few days ago that I had spent 20 minutes on facebook and gotten literally *nothing* of value out of the experience.
Meanwhile, here I am posting to a blog that only gets intermittent attention. I have an idea for some nature / math-ey design / printmaking / photo work. I've got a dozen different things I need to do at my house. I don't get enough sleep, like, ever.
These things are not unrelated.
I was going through my RSS feeds this weekend, making sure that I actually wanted to stay subscribed to each, and I came across a new post from one of the U-M sports blogs entitled "You Can't Go Home Again." It's a good blog in general, well-written and with a slight bent towards my beloved Michigan Marching Band. It's also not a 'daily' blog, and the rarity means that I look forward to new posts. In this case, though, I saw the title and thought "oh good, maybe they're going to quit the blog and I'll have one less thing I have to read." That I HAVE to read. HAVE TO.
That initial thought is about as good a indication that I'm beyond my limits as anything.
I guess there's no point to any of this, except to say...what? I have no idea. A change is gonna come. One way or another.