Aman Bakshi

Feb 6, 2021

5 min read

Pause Before You Click On This.

Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

This is what I have come to.

Consumption. Consumption. Consumption.

Everyday I am consuming information like someone obsessed with just eating without thinking.

I look for things which make me feel intelligent and better informed. No matter what the information is about. I just click on things that, I feel, will tell me new ways to be productive, to be motivated or will drop some life advice on me.

There’s nothing wrong with looking up these things online. The problem starts when I can’t stop clicking and I don’t know why I’m doing so.

This is what I have come to.

I used to deep dive into the morning newspaper. Reading it from front to back, for an hour when I was a teen. I had nothing to do with most of the news or information given in it. At that time, I didn’t know why I read it so eagerly, I just knew I enjoyed it. It almost felt like I was eating my favorite fruit.

Few months back, I watched a YouTube video on how our brain starves for new information and we tend to seek new knowledge or information. The difference is that humans have divided information into sections and different people seek different information.

Some people seek to know what’s happening in their social circle. Some tend to know more about their professional circle. Some get excited about new sports events, some want to know about their hobbies and some just want to know how to get their life in order and understand themselves and human nature.

I fall in the last category. I like to read about why we behave the way we do. I love reading and watching videos about human nature, behavior, productivity and creativity.

But I started writing this article because I was tired of just consuming information about these things, without pausing and questioning myself why I am doing so.

With the newspaper, I had a whole day’s gap to think, to process and to retain the information I liked. (It was mostly the cartoon strips and some interesting news.)

But with online content, the problem is I never get that time. The time to ponder.

This is what I think is the reason that consuming even the supposedly better content, doesn’t feel as satisfying as I used to feel when reading that morning newspaper.

If we don’t give ourselves the time with our thoughts and just keep jumping from video to another; we would have passed a lot of time consuming useful information yet have no idea how to use it or even remember what we watched.

It’s a beautiful thing that we live in a time that we can get any information that we want in a few seconds.

But when we are devour information and content at a lightning pace, most of which we don’t even need, then what we need to do is : pause. Take a step back and think about the things we want to know about.

Use the internet, not consume it.

(-says the guy living on the internet.)

What I mean is not that you should not just browse your favorite app if you feel like. What I mean is even if you do, you need to take breaks from time to time to think and question the “feed” — the content.

And when it is the other way, when we search the things on our own and click videos on our own on YouTube, even then we need to question and pause for a few seconds to ask if I really want to see that scene from that show I love, again? If yes, go click on it. And once you are done watching, give yourself some time to savor it.

To understand this, imagine you just had your favorite dish. You see it on the table and you finished all of it in a few minutes. Immediately you move on to another dish that you like and then other and then another one.

Feeling nauseous yet? If you are not, then I believe that you can continue the way you are. (You liar~!)

But if you feel like this happening to you then I am with you on the same boat.

This is what I am doing to my brain and maybe you are doing it to yours too.

Consuming, consuming and some more consuming.

The solution is to question and pause before clicking on something; just like someone does when they are on a diet.

And also, once you are done reading or watching something, take some moment to think about it.

Stay at the end of that article once you are done, stay at the end of that video and enjoy what you have watched or read. Savor it.

Think about it if you have to.

Maybe you will come up with something yourself to say about it, or you might just notice something new.

Giving myself time to pause and acknowledge what I just watched has helped to cut my screen time.

It has also made me aware to question myself if I fall back to my old habit of browsing endlessly without thinking and to cut out the things I don’t need to know.

Being aware of what you feed your mind is important. I’m sure if you have been on the internet, then you have read this many times. But it’s true.

Use the information that you have consumed till now and apply it in your real life.

Or replace the time spent browsing, with something that you wanted to do.

Pick up a hobby, write in your old notebook or just watch the sunset! Do what you would, if you didn’t had this constant stream of useful-yet-useless-to-you information.

This article is also a letter of caution to myself too. Instead of losing myself in motivational or productivity or philosophical videos/articles; I should try to do things that I want to do in real life.

One of which was sharing writing this and sharing it online.

And here I am doing the same!