I recently read a pretty convincing article — and unfortunately, I don’t remember where — on how important it is to pretty regularly venture outside your usual media consumption habits. It sounds like “duh” advice, but it’s easy to completely forget. A lot of us consume media all day long for work, and when we come home, we’re looking for “comfort food” media — go-to stuff that’s familiar — because it helps us unwind and forget about a long day.
My days are spent looking over roughly the same collection of blogs and social media accounts (or at least, the subject matter is the same), and when I get home, I’ll usually watch whatever show my wife and I are watching, and maybe catch up on a few of the blogs I regularly follow.
Recently, I came upon a magazine while I was in line at the grocery store and thought, “Huh, that looks interesting,” and while I’d usually just think that and leave, I made a gut decision this time and bought it. The magazine was The Surfer’s Journal. I was drawn in by the great photography and spent a while perusing it:
Honestly, I have not read any of the articles. I’ve skimmed a few, and I don’t even know if I think they’re really all that interesting, but the photography is great. If that’s all I get out of this purchase, that’s OK. In fact, if I keep up with this time-to-time experiment, I’m sure I’ll end up consuming a few bits here and there that are completely useless and a waste of time. That’s OK, too.
What caught me about this idea is that it’s not about finding something insanely useful that will instantly optimize X, Y, Z. It’s about exploration and letting your mind wander. I have so many electronic devices pinging me with notifications all day that it’s hard sometimes to just sit around and think. About what? Who cares what. That’s the point.
If I do happen upon any “aha” moments through this, I’m sure you’ll hear about them here. In the meantime, I’d love to know if any of you do something similar, or if you have any suggested materials — anything goes — that you think I should check out.