It is almost the end of a long semester and the end of a long year. Thanksgiving was a welcome moment of respite, but now that I am back, the reality of what I need to accomplish in these upcoming two weeks is daunting. Two significant research papers to write, two Ph.D applications to complete, a fellowship application to submit, and several large work projects to finish. So much writing! Breathe in, breathe out, take one step at a time.
The hardest part is that I can already imagine life on break. My lists of books, TV shows, and films to read and watch have exponentially grown. (Not to mention the personal projects I want to work on at home.) I’m also excited because winter break heralds Oscar season–the months when the best films of the year are released.
In short, I am faced with the constant question our generation encounters: with so much great media content out there, how do we sift through the options and decide what we wish to engage? Historically, one often found that large sections of a population were watching the same shows together or reading roughly the same literature, but the Internet and other technology has loosened the limitations of distribution and production, resulting in widely varying habits of content consumption. No two people are watching, reading, and even playing (to loop in video games) exactly all the same things. How does this change how we think about and choose our media?
I’ve been having a similar conversation with some of my students, and they’re also feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of content out there. We agree that each individual will have to figure out their own system for determining what to engage, and while I have been formulating my own philosophy on personal consumption, I am really curious as to how you decide what to watch/read/play.
So this week, I am asking for you to contribute to my blog. Send me a private message or comment below! I am especially interested in those of you who work in some branch of media production or education, where you are expected to “keep up” with what’s popular.
Here’s your question: how do you select from the cornucopia of incredible content what you will watch/read/play, and how do you manage your time accordingly to maintain a healthy balanced life?