“Recommended For You” – a list that shows up just about everywhere. It is rather humbling when the recommended items have no interest to what I’d rather be looking at. Maybe the suggestion engine is wrong. Maybe I’m wrong.
Recommendations breed recommendations. It’s not long before you see the connections between what you chose to read and what is recommended. Beyond that, what someone else is paying to recommend to you. Paid content makes the internet go round.
Before long, what gets recommended to you by a machine starts to go sour and you’re left longing for the days when someone handed you a book they really liked.
After the death of Google Reader I merged everything I could into Feedly. I spent a good amount of time organizing everything neatly like someone who cuts apart and catalogs the daily paper. Every month or so I still ended up going through everything to realize an entire set of feeds had gone wholly unread. Content that I had fallen in love with in one instance got stale pretty quick.
Here is a story about people who listen to Podcasts at an unreasonable speed in an effort to stay up to date on them. The content doesn’t seem viable to them, just the act of completing them is. Keeping up with everything that everyone suggests – you’re bound to get a lot of crap.
That’s when I unsubscribe from people. Those who are genuinely nice people but have no business in recommending stuff to the masses. What does one expect me to do when they share a Times article on their timeline?
Maybe then it’s the media diet. No more falling into the endless scrolls of bottomless bowls. If it endlessly scrolls, then it probably doesn’t belong on my phone.
I’ve gotten into the habit of finding and following specific writers and creators, rather than the publications where their stuff shows up at. Makes for a much cleaner presentation and I’ve found that the same personalities can take a different perspective on their thoughts that isn’t always refined by the voice of a certain publication. Also: less sponsored material this way.