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The Modern Poison

Maybe that's a misleading title. It's not a poison - it's an addiction, but the worst poisons can be addicting too. Like a drug, it's something you keep coming back to again and again, and again, even though you know better.

YouTube has been the bane of my spare time lately. I've felt like I've used it wisely. I've bookmarked lists of material I could listen to instead of watching, and treat them as podcasts: radio interviews, speeches and similar things. But when there's a video stream as well as audio, I can't help but check the page every once in a while to see what faces people put on as they speak, especially when they get riled up. And after hearing them say something controversial, I can't help scroll down to see what other people said about what they said in their comments - though I never comment myself because the comment section is usually a shitpile, and before I know it I've spent the larger part of an hour reading comments and looking at faces instead of doing whatever task I planned to do whilst listening to said interview.

Then there are those late nights when I'm too tired to sleep, and too tired to do anything more efficient than watch a couple of clips on YT. A couple turns into quadruple, and soon I've watched through a dozen, and the more of them I watch, the more recommendations I get.

Seeing everything is nothing short of impossible.

It's not like I have that goal, but when I see things I haven't seen that I do find interesting (is there anything I don't find interesting?), what do you expect me to do?! YT, of course, expects me to watch more. And they expect right.

No doubt a lot of people out there share my problem, with this or with similar sites. I know people who check back on Facebook every few minutes to see if anybody's posted anything new, breaking their workflow to stalk their friends.

Other sites can be just as addicting. Hell, the Internet in itself is pretty addicting. I used to have addictions to more than just the one site. I used to browse up on news magazines and check for new articles every hour, and read every article, and there are countless communities I've been a fervent consumer of over the years.

Apart from my consistent addiction to NG (it's not an abusive relationship though, more the occasional glass of fine wine than the line of coke - not that I like wine but you get the point), there's my tendency to quickly open up multiple tabs on my most used emails, accounts, sites, etc to check for new interactions - which is somewhat useful, and then there's YT.

So, I've decided. I'll leave YT alone next week. Just one week, to see how that impacts my performance in other areas.

Unless I stumble upon embedded YT clips elsewhere - relevant to my tasks, or have a chance to do some work where I play my already existent podcast list in the background without looking at the video, I am not opening anything on that site, and I am not looking at comments if I do play any of the aforementioned videos for audio-purpose only.

Basically, I'll be staying away from the front page, subscription stream and any potential search results for one week.

Let's see how that goes.


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