Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Constant velocity?

Perhaps I should adopt the mantra, "Be like the Pickle."
I’ve been seriously considering if I need to change my relationship to how I listen to music. I’ve grown so used to searching out the new and exciting to share that I’ve lost the ability to just sit with the albums that I like for extended periods of time. This isn’t a hard rule—for instance I’ve given the new Gorillas album Humanz a ton of spins over the last few weeks so I can write something meaningful on it to publish on Friday—but since I write fewer longform reviews I don’t always have that “forced” luxury.

This isn’t unique to me. We’ve all changed how we consume all media. We choose at which rate and how much and what pieces we want to chew on more than others. And amidst the non-stop flow of the new I don’t even think most of us even consider the idea of sitting on one thing or another beyond the amount of time it takes to initially experience it.

As I type that, though, I also realize I am an extreme outlier. Many people do wait for their favorite album to come out and then listen to nothing but that for extended periods of time. Of course that still happens. But outlier though I may be I do believe my own questions are those everyone faces, even if at slightly less at tidal wave of content levels.

The digital world is seeping into my real world!
The view of our place through the Gorillaz AR app. 
And so that has led me to ponder why exactly I do this. It’s not new to me. One of the weird things about me is that I’m old enough to remember pre-internet  as my primary way of life. But I’m also a weirdo that leapt into digital way early and has just always kept up while I’ve seen other around me dip in and out at various points, while I’ve always ben in the middle of things. It’s gifted me with a perspective firmly rooted in both history and innovation, and I speak a rounded language I honestly think few possess. It makes me a valuable commodity in a number of ways, and I like that.


It can be exhausting.

I know this started as a question about how I experience music but it’s obvious there is a deeper question here: do I need to reconsider how plugged in I am in general? Most people my age are happy to step back, slow down on all their media consumption, and chill the fuck out.

So the bigger question is: can I even reconsider how plugged in I am? And do I need to? It’s so hardwired into how I function I’m not sure I could or should.

Here’s what I’ve decided (in the time it’s taken me to write this I realize the decision was already there, I just hadn’t surfaced it yet) and that is to start to slow down. I’m starting to devote time to reading books in the morning before work, instead of catching up on all my feeds and networks. I’m starting to focus more on mindfulness and meditation* in order to at least slow the non-stop whir that is my brain down a titch; I can’t stop it but the gears can stand a break from their usual high velocity. Maybe not listening to every single episode of every single podcast I’m subscribed to. Going for walks and leaving the headphones at home.

Little things like that.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

*Who IS this guy?!

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