In truth, I have been put to blogging shame by my good friend Em Peneau, who has taken to the medium like a duck to water. At C’est la vie, she has consistently produced engaging book reviews and chronicles of her life in academia, along with her thoughts on the world at large. One of my favourite recent posts was of a story she wrote with her father when she was a child.
For the past few months, perhaps even year or more, I have been inundated with information. This is a particularly digital-age concern, where we are bombarded with so many inputs that it becomes a full-time job just to separate the useful sounds from the background noise.
Tonight I unsubscribed from a good number of blogs that I had been following – in name at least – for years. I won’t name them or link to them here, as that would be pointless. But what I realised when looking at my Google Reader, with it’s unread count almost permanently stuck at 1,000+, was that many of these sites were no longer relevant to me. And yet in several cases I felt a deep resistance to what I was about to do. Some of these feeds had been with me so long to imagine my Reader (and before that, Bloglines) without them was unthinkable. They fell into the category of “I really want to read these, but I don’t have the time now”, or often, “I really should stay subscribed to these, as they’re about Very Important Things”. These things included politics and economics, as well as digital media, transparency, and information exchange. But they did nothing for me. Whatever had drawn me to them originally had passed.
This could be for any number of reasons. Too much information to process. Too few posts directly relevant to my interests. A decline in the quality of posts. A tendency to visit individual websites. The fact that I no longer cared about what some sites had to say. The list could go on.
I am certainly a very different person now to the one of years gone by. My interests have changed, my work has taken on new directions, I have had my energies spread too thinly across too many projects, I have grown up, moved on, and got engaged. That doesn’t mean that I have stopped caring about learning – I’m working on a PhD, as you may remember, and learning is the name of the game. It just means that I want to learn in a different way. I want to try something different, expose myself to new ideas, and peer into nooks of knowledge that I had never considered before.
Some of these will be shared here, and I will be doing more short posts. Some will be shared on my history blog, while others you will only know about through my Facebook, Twitter, or Academia accounts. The decision is yours.
To the future!