As you can tell from my last blog entry, it has been quite a while since I last wrote. Just shy of 2 months by 3-4 days to be exact. It hasn’t really been for a lack of ideas but time. Real life has butted into all my activities and kept me off the inter-webs. My usual routines had to be rearranged or removed altogether.
One of the bad things about working in retail, because I’m always attentive to my surroundings to deal with customers, I have very little time for my my old consumption habits. In fact, instead of having my ears plugged in for 8+ hours like I used to in the past, I just have time to listen on my lunch breaks and during my commutes (this roughly translated to 2+hours/day). This drastic change made me take a long look at what I used to spend time on and wean off what I was willing to sacrifice.
At first I started with daily podcasts. I just don’t have the time to keep up with those. This in turn led me to waiving all talk-podcasts and just stick to story-related ones (i.e. Decoder Ring Theatre, This American Life, etc). My reasoning is that with stories I have a beginning and an end which gives me closure and I can move on to the next thing. With talk podcasts I don’t get that satisfaction. Also, I listen to Audible (I pay for this, I damn well better use it) so story-related podcasts are a good compliment to this service.
This shortened-consumption time has also led me back to music listening. A four minute song takes up less time than a 30 minute podcast; moreover, I don’t listen as closely to music as I listen to podcasts, so if I miss a few lyrics there is little to no guilt about it and I won’t have the inclination to rewind and re-listen. I’ll just continue to go on with my day. Not to mention music gets me moving and I tend to get more done with music than podcasts (again that listening factor is key. Multitasking isn’t something I’m all that good at).
Next on the chopping block was social networks. I was initially enthusiastic about Google+ but after a few weeks my account just remained stagnant. I didn’t really communicate with anyone there so it was just a waste of digital space. Consequently I trashed that account. I haven’t used Foursquare in months. I haven’t been going anywhere besides home and work and checking-in to those places lost it’s novelty quite a while ago so that account was expunged. With little consumption time I also had very little time to log-in to social apps and I realized that I almost rarely used Twitter except to tweet or share a link. I almost never read my timeline anymore. At work I’m always busy and when I’m home I rather be reading my Kindle or watching Netflix so after a little more deliberation Twitter was also removed from my life. This left Facebook. I use Facebook very seldomly. In fact there was a time that I thought Twitter was more useful than Facebook. My how things have changed. As seldom as I use Facebook, one of the main reasons I keep it is because my wife still uses it and the last time I deleted my account (2 times now, I believe) she reprimanded me for making her a Facebook widow. It still has some uses for me. It helps me keep track of birthdays and there are still some events I like to stay informed on.
Lastly, I took a long look at my hobbies. I knew there was no way I was going to stop watching TV and I am really making a concerted effort to read more which left me to ponder the fate of my blog and podcasts. I started the blog strong early this year and really did my best to keep up with the post-a-week pledge. Obviously those efforts were lacking these past two months which is why I rightfully removed my badge from the site, as I can no longer claim to be a weekly blogger. I will try again next year. As for the podcasts, it takes more time to record, edit and post a 30-60 minute episode than it takes to type up a blog entry. It also takes a lot of passion and commitment to keep one going. I took a strong look at myself and realized that my interests in podcasting have been fickle at best. So with that small epiphany, I took down both, “The Julio From NY Show” and “The Mundane Chatter Podcast“.
There you have it. I whittled down my digital footprint down to Facebook and this here blog. The hope of this change is that my creative energies will be more focused and therefore my output will once again be more frequent than every few months.