Amit Gawande

No End to Content Overload.

There was a time when I listened to podcasts. Then I stopped doing that. There was a time when I scrolled through Twitter and Facebook, and we all know that story. Eventually, I also stopped watching YouTube videos. I detached myself from every form of passive consumption. I came to this realisation, and here’s what I wrote.

All my concerns stem from this “user-engagement-at-all-cost” business practice. Irrespective of how pleasing this interaction feels in the moment, it leaves me furious for the time wasted. Twitter timeline is prone to do that. YouTube’s homepage does that, and so does its recommendation engine. Instagram and Facebook feed do that. For me, even Reddit forums tend to do that. Debatable, but Podcasts do that too.

Now, I am either listening to audiobooks or reading books, newsletters or articles from the subscribed RSS feeds. Yet, I still feel I do not have enough time.

I don’t have time to watch that 10-episode TV series. I don’t have time to read the list of articles I have saved to read later. I don’t have time to play games or read comic books. And I have accepted that I cannot consume these forms of content, for the lack of a better word.

But, it saddens me to realise I don’t even have time to read everything I want. And I am not even looking at the growing list of to-read books.

How does one find the time?

I could read a book or keep up with my RSS subscriptions on a particular day. But unfortunately, I cannot do both. Maybe I don’t know how to stop myself in time or structure my day in a routine.

Whatever the reason, I don’t have enough time to read all that there is to read. I have read a few articles and books that address this problem of the apparent shortage of time. But I haven’t found a solution that works for any meaningful period.

Maybe, I need to make peace with the fact that I cannot keep up. I cannot keep up with the growing list of brilliant books. I cannot keep up with the gifted writers churning beautiful essays. And, with a heavy heart, accept that I am okay with it.

Disengaging from passive consumption has helped me. But there’s too much good content that I can’t keep up with.

💬 Discuss ✍️ Email