The lost pleasure of consumption

My colleage from frog, Tim Leberecht, has written a poignant note about how blogging means he has lost the ability to simply “consume”:

I cannot just consume anymore - I feel an ever-present pressure to produce. Consuming is only good when it leads to production, says the personal brand voice in me….

The new read-write culture has chained me to the laptop at all times. The delta between consumption and production has been abolished, and the time between contemplation and action has shrunk to a brief guilty moment of Zen. Reading means writing. Everything I read is a feed which I then instantly turn inwards out and broadcast. Inspiration is a permanent presence, an aggregate state not a single unique moment. Content generation is my modus operandi.

 I have to say I feel a lot of sympathy with this. All reading, indeed almost any activity during a week, now cannot simply be done for pleasure and there is always a nagging thought in the back of my head asking “how can I use this?” Pleasure has become work, in fact pleasure creates work.

It is not inevitable I suppose - perhaps there is a way to switch it off. That’s the theory with Blackberries too…