Am I the only person that feels we are being saturated with so much media? So much social media, so many apps, so much online news, so many web sites, podcasts, radio stations, music, Instagram photos. And then we have DVDs, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, video games…The list goes on. It can all feel overwhelming.
Writing in the latest edition of The Author, George Walkley, head of digital at Hachette, says that 1,000 news apps are published every day and over 50 hours of new video are uploaded to You Tube every second. That’s mind boggling!
And if you earn your living as an author, it’s depressing. That book you have laboured over for months, put your heart and soul into , has to compete not just with other books, but with all this other content vying for people’s attention.
Walkley goes on, “Technology changes almost every aspect of consumption. Ofcom research shows that on average we spend more time consuming media than sleeping, made possible by ubiquitous access to smartphones and online content, and habitual multi-tasking.”
And the really scary thing is that the internet is still just a baby. What will it be like in ten years? Or even five years?
My own strategy for coping with all this content is to filter, to select what I’m interested in and not feel I have to access the latest this or that. I’m not interested if something has “gone viral”, nor am I interested in the latest “You Tube sensation”. These claims usually refer to something that is totally banal and will be forgotten a week later.
Yes, all this content can feel overwhelming, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed. We can choose.