Passive consumption

We process a lot of information and content each day. No where is that more evident to me than the number of favs, likes, RSS feeds, and emails that I read, star, bookmark, or reply to daily. To date, I have:

  • Liked 1,788 shots on Dribbble
  • Favorited 2,125 tweets on Twitter
  • Added 1,461 images to LittleSnapper (1,312 without any tags)

This is what I’d like to do passive consumption. I’m hardly consuming any of this information—I’m more of a preprocessor for myself. Except, you know, I never get around to processing this stuff or making it truly useful to me. I think a lot of people have this same problem. We’re all worms—in one end, out the other.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, we’re not really learning anything, we’re not saving much time, and we’re stressing ourselves out. We hang on to screenshots because things on the Internet are very short-lived. We accumulate huge amounts of stuff on various online services only to never revisit them again.

In the real world, hoarders are looked at as being mentally ill and generally described as “crazy folk.” We’re all hoarders to some extent. We hang on to shit despite not actively using it or making that stuff work for us in some capacity. We crazy, ya’ll.

Okay, now what?

I’m not entirely sure, but I think it starts with moderation. With all the wonderful stuff that’s out there, we need to move beyond curation. Quality over quantity is the old proverb and it amazes me how often we simply look past that in so many aspects of our lives. We also need services to step it up and help us in those goals, and that’s where we as designers come in.

Some where there is a balance for people where moderation and proper tools help us process information in a more meaningful way. I’m not sure what that is, and I hope I can figure it out before I pull all my hair out trying to keep up with all the awesomesauce pouring out of our community.