How do you make your media choices? As Serdar notes in an excellent column, choices are complicated; we often have so many we play it safe. A thousand movies present options so overwhelming we go with a sequel. The next One Piece episode will deliver something you liked ten episodes ago. Choice makes us flee to safety too often – and our existing technology and culture encourage it because it’s profitable.
Our media diet is poorer for this paradox – I’m tired of all the sameness even when it’s good sameness like Marvel. Anyway, the post is excellent, go read it.
I relate to this subject as I’ve been cultivating my reading lately. I wanted to read new works – or ones I missed – and re-read beloved books from my past to ground myself. Thus I’m going through a delightful mix of Taoist mysticism, writing advice, informative non-fiction, novels I loved, and fiction that I selected carefully. One week I’m reading about breath meditation, the next is re-reading Asprin’s “Another Fine Myth.”
I found this cultivation takes continuous effort. Do I really want to read this book? Will this book provide a benefit for me? Have my priorities changed? Am I the kind of person who will spend $16.00 on a fascinating translation of a short, obscure document on health practices of centuries past (answer: yes).
I’ve realized that cultivating our reading – or any media consumption – takes effort, discipline, and practice. It’s also something no one taught us how to do – and why would we they? People assume you pick up media selectivity somewhere, and isn’t all this choice a good thing anyway?
We’ve been thrust into a world of choice we never expected with little training to deal with it.
Sometimes I speculate, “could someone write a book or teach a class on media selectivity?” Is there a way to get people on board with more careful media choices? Of course, we know that would just be another work viying for attention; what are the odds someone could be the Marie Kondo of media choice?
Right now all I and my friends can do is encourage people to make choice, share our findings, and go on. If you’re doing the same, please share – maybe we can cultivate our media diets together. Perhaps that’s the best – or only – way.