There’s so much noise

comments 17

Emails. Feedly. LinkedIn. Twitter. Pinterest. Google+. It’s so loud out there, it’s becoming easier to just mark everything as read, gloss over all that you see, rather than engage and be a productive member of the communities you’re a part of.

Of late, there’s been a pattern emerging with me. Open up Chrome, go to my Feedly, quickly check the categories I have my various places saved as. Gloss over most of them, entirely. Why? Because I still feel like I have to go through Twitter, Google+, emails and then some so I need to make sure I’ve got enough time to do that during the day, as well.

There's so much noise

I have no idea where this feeling of needing to keep up has come from. But recently it came to a point. The point at which I saw I wasn’t really, really taking in what I was reading or watching. Or I was reading for no other reason other than I felt I had to. Skim reading and multi-tasking have been my vices of late.

You’ve got to be able to fill your free time with things you want to do. Because the other time you do have you invariably spend doing things you have to do – work, family commitments, household chores, etc.

It’s simple for me to say this. Write this here. Putting it into action will be harder. I’ll fallback on my usual skimming and not taking anything in for the sake of feeling like I’m keeping up with the whole world. But the fact that I’ve written this down here. For all the… well, the few people who do come by, to see, will force me to stick to my word.


  1. I stopped hate-reading blogs earlier this year. I have no idea why I wasting any of my energy reading stuff from people I didn’t like.

    I still have a lot on my Feedly roll though. Can’t miss out on stuff!

    • I cleared up my feedly a little bit, but then I added on thing on my Google+ so i’ve just moved the clutter. Need to properly, properly de-clutter.

  2. I’ve hit this moment recently too. It’s caused me to look at blogs I read and podcasts I listen to and cull a lot of them. The project isn’t done, but it’s starting to pay off and remind me to value my time and focus on what I really love doing. This is also happening with TV shows.

    • I’ve done this with TV shows too. It’s been a combination of lacklustre TV shows and having a limited, all be it plentiful, bandwidth allowance per month. It’s actually made me focus on the TV shows I genuinely do enjoy, want to spend time on and therefore want to use my bandwidth on.

  3. There IS a lot of noise so I’ve made myself content with being present in only a few places instead of trying to be in all places – namely email, Feedly & blog commenting, Twitter. I also only comment if I have something to say as well.

    • “I also only comment if I have something to say as well.” – I wish more people were an advocate of this. It’s painfully obvious when someone is commenting for the sake of it. Sometimes you can read a blog post, news article, whatever and not need to comment on it, I believe. Just the act of reading it, and absorbing what you’ve read is enough.

  4. Really great post here, Jaina. Very honest. I understand. Immensely. I feel the need regularly to keep up with the world, skim my feeds, skim the posts, skim the comments, and write a short ditty to let someone know, “Hey, I’ve read/skimmed/looked at your post.”

    It’s much more fulfilling when you sit back, enjoy, and thoughtfully and critically read articles/posts/what have you. But you bring up an interesting point. How much are you sincerely “enjoying” what you do when you treat it as an obligation to keep up “keeping up with the rest of the world.”

    Excellent thoughts. Best of luck to you and to those of us who want to prioritize and enjoy our time as much as possible.

    • It’s harder than I thought to “switch off” from skimming. Sometimes I feel like simply checking out a title isn’t enough for me to make the decision whether I want to read on. But the other side of me says, if the title isn’t enough, and you’re unsure, just close the window and get on with something else! Something I haven’t done in a long, long time. Takes a while to undo all those old impulses.

  5. I read an artice not long ago where they said many of our generation have the need to keep ourselves updated on the various platforms because we are afraid of missing out on something important, if we don’t. But is impossible to keep up with everything. Everyone has something to say, but so much of it we don’t really need. I can’t even use twitter on a daily basis because the constant flow of news is sensory overload for me. Agree: “You’ve got to be able to fill your free time with things you want to”

    • “Everyone has something to say, but so much of it we don’t really need.”

      Very much agree with this sentiment. And that’s not saying that the opinions of the world around us aren’t important, more that when did they become SO important they almost take over our days?!

  6. Thanks Jaina, I needed to see this. I know *exactly* what you mean. I have spent a good chunk of my day today getting caught up on Feedly and it’s just become too much. I don’t know why I feel the need to filter through everything… it really is information overload, and I shouldn’t feel obligated to read it all. I’ve gotten in the bad habit of adding longform articles and other pieces to my Pocket, and quite honestly I’m scared to even look at that backlog at the moment 😀

    • Share that feeling. I haven’t looked at my feedly for at least four days and I believe there’s something like 700~ articles sitting in there that are all going to be clicked “read” in one second. I just can’t even fathom trying to sift through them.

      It’s reassuring to know that there are quite a few of us out there who put this pressure on ourselves for feeling the need to keep up with everything, rather than just doing what we want to do. We need to band together!

  7. Yeah, this recognisable and looking at my email box for all the updates I get for all the blogs I’m following it never seems to get below 200 mails….so for the last couple of days have been removing a couple of subscriptions of blogs I really don’t read and kept the ones I’m interested in. Then I’ll see if I’ve seen a movie that is written about and if I might want to comment once I did. But like you say, there is that feeling that you have to read the posts you are subscribed to even if it is just to show appreciation.

    • I did something similar with my feedly – unsubscribed from a lot of blogs I felt like I was subscribed to because I *had* to, rather than because I wanted to. I have to ask, where on earth does this “pressure” to read and keep up come from that a lot of seem to suffer from!?

  8. I guess from when we started out blogging as that was a quick way to get extra readers. Sticking to the ones you enjoy is a better idea

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