I don’t listen to podcasts. Not that I have anything against them; I would if I had a driving commute where my eyes must be occupied while my mind isn’t fully. However, I don’t have such a situation, and otherwise I’d rather read (as with videos, I can generally read faster than they can talk, and I can also skim). However, pondering the increasing growth of podcasts and other media, I begin to wonder if we’re being consumed by consumption.
To be clear, I like consuming information. I regularly am searching for information about new ideas I’ve come across, or going deeper in particular areas that have gained in importance in what I’m doing. I track Twitter and LinkedIn, and… However, I also take time for reflection. Which is important. If you look at Harold Jarche’s PKM model, you see that the middle section of ‘sense’ is where you process the information, synthesizing it. It’s an important part of learning, elaborating, experimenting, and internalizing.
Nothing wrong with consuming, but I’m suggesting it must be balanced with the synthesis, the integration, the reflection. If we only consume, I fear that we’re really not learning. We need to ponder what it means to us. Yet, in this increasingly fast-paced world, I worry that people feel they need to continually be consuming. I’m arguing that it shouldn’t be the only thing. It needs to be balanced.
It’s not that I don’t think people reflect, I just want to make sure that they’re conscious of it, and don’t fall prey to a need to be distracted continually. We need to be present, with ourselves and our information, and process it. We need to avoid being consumed by consumption. Happy to believe that I’m wrong, but better to err on the side of over-communicating, eh?