The amount of things to see, read, and hear are now infinite. Each day, more than 2 million blogs posts are published, The Washington Post alone publishes around 1,200 pieces of content (once about every 2 minutes), 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram, 576,000 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube, and almost 5 billion pieces of content are shared (as of 2015) on Facebook.
You could spend your entire day reading the articles from any major news website, and not get through the content. And this doesn’t begin to factor in books, magazines, television, movies, or music.
And yet, our tendency is to open up a social media platform when we have even 10 seconds of downtime. And after 40 minutes of scrolling through Facebook, which is the daily average for someone in the US, you notice this pressure developing in your head. You just spent 40 minutes reading about politics, seeing baby photos, the updates on your friends’ weekend shenanigans, videos of cute baby bears, cat memes, some updates on engagements, weddings, job promotions, and pregnancies, the latest on British royalty, some videos of people doing stupid stuff, those addicting Tasty videos, some movie trailers, a few book reviews, a dozen or so listicals, some ideas for things to do this weekend, some ads for things you shopped for off Facebook (how do they do that?), some TED videos, a few new podcasts you should check out, some feel good videos of people doing good in the world, the latest developments on AI or space exploration, people’s resolutions for the New Year, people’s political rants, 100 advertisements, new Facebook pages to like, some nostalgic things from our childhoods, inspirational videos, a half-dozen new things to buy, and a few how-to guides.
Your fingers have scrolled about 600 feet, and maybe you’ve clicked about 1,600 times.
You’ve absorbed all of this information, and what have you really gotten out of it? The things that you don’t know about, the things you haven’t accomplished, the things that you haven’t seen, read, heard, or bought.
All of this content saturates you with information that doesn’t add value or meaning to your life.
To fill doesn’t always mean to satisfy.