Listening has become difficult for me. In addition to a slight attention deficit disorder, I account this to our increasing digital culture. We consume content at alarming rates and our generation seems to be getting better at it. It’s no surprise that information is streaming out of everywhere.
The delivery mechanisms are now self aware. By self aware, I mean they know us. The advertising content that is being delivered is no longer random, but selected based on who, when and where we are at any point in our lives. In some situations, these deliver systems that recognize patterns and are therefore influenced by where we have been and where we are projected to go. I sit uneasy knowing that the cloud is smart enough to predict my future.
I guess this is progress. Yet I am reminded of the DC comic villian, the Riddler. His hunger for unlimited data is what brought him to his demise. I’ve met many Riddlers in this world. Those people who get ahead by staying constantly plugged in. Using that knowledge to gain an advantage. They never stop listening.
So, wouldn’t this help motivate me to listen better, more often and stay connected?
Things are being conveniently filtered for me. If I am surrounded by things that are relevant to my interests then why is my consumption behavior (search for knowledge) not unlike a flowing river. In truth, it feels more like a dried up stream that flows in the opposite direction. I am failing to consume enough information to stay relevant with the rest of the world.
Listening is a challenge. Sifting out what is important is hard when everything is meaningful. I am exposed to more valuable information than I could possibly handle. Apps, curated feeds, local-based content, categorical filtering, behavioral algorithms and on-demand media all organized and packaged in easily accessible formats. Now I am more of aware of what I don’t know. And I don’t know a heck of a lot. With the death of analog goes the peace of mind.
Ignorance, truly, is bliss.
Image source: Smashingmagazine.com