After spending the past 18 months working from home I have noticed that my digital content consumption has increased dramatically. I haven’t wanted any TV series and only a couple of films, but my podcast listening and news reading has reached a worrying level.
The need for something (anything!) to be playing in the background has become normal in a way that I had not expected, even though all of our information gathering has increased over the past decade. I have lost the ability to simply sit down and concentrate in silence.
YouTube can be on for hours at a time and I swear that I don’t watch half of what is playing. A podcast can be playing in the background and it just passes me by with barely any of the words taken in. It isn’t just about the content, it has become a noise that needs to be there all of the time just filling the silence.
I wonder if this is a common thing that many have experienced as they have become accustomed to working from home or simply being at home a lot more than they were previously. It could be that this will change in the future as life goes back to how it was, but I suspect that for many people a little bit of this new habit will remain somewhere in their lives, likely in the background as they sit with AirPods stuffed in their ears to block out the real world.
It appears to me that some people have discovered what is really important over the past 18 months, I have certainly grown to appreciate my family more, but I suspect that there are many who will carry negative habits to the future that they do not need anymore.