Too Many Choices

With the plethora of media to read, view and
hear, we are presented with too many choices. It’s a wealth of information, and
it affects my level of guilt for things unread, unseen and unheard. The curse
of the richness of media today.

A feature of living in this information-rich environment is coping with too many choices and not getting all the reading, viewing and listening done. It’s not a tragedy, but it is a frustration. I’ve got four books started right now, just bought some movies on DVD that I missed when they were running at the theaters (Salaam Bombay! [I know it’s more than twenty years old, but I still missed it], Hotel Rwanda, Friday Night Lights and Osama) and there’s a great issue of Harper’s I’ve been trying to get through, not to mention an old Wired with a cover story on the death of radio.

It’s not even for lack of desire. My intentions are good. It’s due in part to the conditioning that comes from multi-tasking. We don’t do anything for extended periods of time. But to read a book takes time. It isn’t something I can do at uptempo or in short spurts.

I want to concentrate! But, there’s this thing I’ve left undone, that e-mail to answer, and, oh yea, there’s that note I’m supposed to write. You know the story.

I know I watch too much TV. I know I need to organize these tasks better than I have so far. I also know that the whole media culture is conspiring against me, and it’s winning. It’s seeking to attract my attention, as it is yours as well, and it works. I give 15-seconds here, 30-seconds there and move on to the next thing. Talk about short-term memory.

So, my best intentions get trashed by the helter-skelter of a short attention span and the flurry of busyness that probably could be managed with less compulsion–if I could just take the time to ponder how to do that.

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