Overdosing on content

We live in a time of overabundance of information. The Web provides instant and free access to many great sources of information. Of course, it also provides access to sources which might not be so good, but let’s not go into that…

On any single day, I can read articles written by very intelligent and capable people and I don’t even have to go looking for them anymore. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter send links to these articles directly to my inbox, on an almost daily basis. Apps such as Flipboard or Zite aggregate and format articles to provide me with a great reading experience.

I’ve always loved reading. When I was a kid, I’d use most of the small allowance my parents gave me to purchase a couple of books each month. At that time, that seemed like plenty.

When I didn’t have a new book to read, I would go through my growing library and choose a book to read again. I must have read some of those books well over five times.

Looking back and comparing that experience with what we now have access to, I feel a bit dazed. It had never crossed my mind that one day I would have too much new content to read. Now I am buying books almost too fast to catch up reading.

It would be bad enough if all that you could get on the Web was good reading material. That is not the case, however. With the addition of Netflix, iTunes and other such online content providers, the amount of content available to you, without you ever having to leave your couch, bogles the mind.

How can there be too much to read, if you really love reading? How can there be too much to watch if you love movies or TV series? Is there such a thing as too much music, for a music lover?

It just happens that consuming all that content takes time, and time is the one commodity in life of which you cannot have too much. Time is eternally running out. The one certainty you can have is that tomorrow you will have less time than you do today.

If you spend all your time consuming what others create, when will you be able to create something yourself? How will you be able to accomplish anything?

As person that loves reading, I would never counsel you to stop reading or stop watching your favorite programs. Depending on what you read or watch these are important to allow you to acquire new knowledge and to grow.

What I caution you about is to be aware of how you spend your time. A lot of people don’t even notice just how much time they spend consuming all this content each and every day.

Just remember that taking the time to consider and contemplate what you’ve read is as important as reading it in the first place.