“I have 567 blog posts in my RSS feed, so I’d better settle in for a while.”
“My Twitter feed is missing the past four hours of tweets. Better refresh and read through them.”
“I picked up this book based on the recommendation of a friend, but it doesn’t speak to me the way it did to them. Oh well. Only 150 pages left. I can finish.”
Anybody else feel compelled to complete artificial goals like that? Do arbitrary timelines abound?
Chances are that there is nothing life changing to read in my Google Reader. My Twitter feed may be lacking a few hours worth of tweets, but there are plenty more to replace them. And a book that does not contain anything I need to read is a waste of my time.
I’m not suggesting we should give up on tasks because they become boring. I shouldn’t stop reading the book because a section is difficult to read. But I should honestly evaluate it for its usefulness and intrinsic worth as a source of knowledge – will I go through something in life that this book will better equip me to process?
We live in a data-soaked culture. There is more information available than is possible to consume. There is nothing wrong with being picky.
Do you find yourself in the same internal struggle? What do you do?