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How I made my online diet healthier in September (which is to say, not very much)
Image by Bart Heird, via Flickr
Gah. So I'm already at October with this monthly project. In some ways, it's been a valuable undertaking. But you know what? I'm still feeling pretty much as info-unhealthy as I did in January. Seems like every time I've made a small victory in cleaning up my information diet, something or other flows in to fill that space. I'm still yearning for better control.
Luddite as it sounds, I miss the "newspaper over breakfast" experience. I have no love for our local newspaper, but what I miss is its finite-ness. There were only so many pages, and within them, only so many things I was interested in reading. When breakfast was over, I was done reading.
Nowadays, I have "internet over breakfast," and I never, ever feel "done reading." And yet… I adore the web. I don't want to go back to old media. I just want that sense of completion, at regular intervals. I know this means severely limiting my intake. And then, of course, we're back to the square-one question of how to choose what to read in a universe of infinite possibilities!
I'm pretty excited to see Clay Johnson's new book, The Information Diet - on my Wish List for sure. I'm really liking this quote:
"There always has been more human knowledge and experience than any one human could absorb. It's not the total amount of information, but your information habit that is pushing you to whatever extreme you find uncomfortable."
This is so true! Better nutrition, in any domain, is an ongoing string of day-to-day choices. These choices feel easier when we have the bandwidth in our lives for them, and harder when we don't.
My information habits, since August, have become somewhat deplorable. I've been on a long trajectory of overwork, and the more I feel tired, the less I manage both my food diet and my information diet. I grab the takeout because I'm too tired to cook. I visit Tom + Lorenzo fifteen times a day because I'm too mentally tired to read anything more informative or deep.
(Let me pause here to say that I looooooooove Tom + Lorenzo! I just don't need to do it fifteen times a day.)
Image by Martin Pettitt, via Flickr
So where does all this leave my monthly project? At a place many long-term projects visit: a spot of relative off-track-ness, but with much potential for improvement. Time to re-commit!
How are you feeling about your information diet these days? What practices have helped you make better information choices?