Indecision At The Content Buffet
I have yet to pen an article for Medium, but I think it's an amazing venture. One of the things I love about Medium is that there is a lot of content that isn't produced for an audience. Rather, it's written because the author wanted to write about it. If I wanted to write "The Day I Gained 3 Twitter Followers," "Traversing San Francisco's Hills In A Bath Robe & Flip Flops Is The Closest I've Ever Been To God," or "The $30 Entree That Changed The Way I Think About In-Bound Marketing," Medium would make a fine home.
Hence, my curated feed is an assortment of stuff that I wouldn't encounter on a conglomerate network, let alone on a single site. It's made me wonder about what we choose to consume in this saturated environment in which there is content about (almost) everything. And not just on Medium. Scan your LinkedIn "Pulse" feed and you'll see variety, albeit somewhat less obscure and geared toward "professionals." For example, you can read about why it's better to work from home, why it's worse to work from home, three (or five or ten) tips for nailing phone interviews, changing careers, networking, bosses, and office romance (at least in early February).
Today, it struck me that I've read multiple articles suggesting I should do something differently in my job-hunt, whether it pertains to my resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, social media presence, etc. I've also read multiple pieces confirming that I'm doing it all right. It just depends what I choose to read.
And therein lies the problem. What do I choose to read—something way outside of my comfort zone, something my tribe suggests (which Medium's recommendations and other social media "liking" and sharing functions facilitate), or something else? Do I succumb to confirmation bias—the tendency to search for, interpret, or remember things in a way that confirms one's beliefs? Occasionally, though I go the other way, too—testing different or opposing viewpoints. Do I act on in-group favoritism because I have a history (actual or digital) with certain people? Sometimes, though online cliques generally frustrate me. Do I take risks on stuff that I don't think I'll enjoy? Rarely. My time and attention are too precious.
It can be overwhelming standing there at the content buffet wondering what's edible, what's poisonous, and what's actually quite tasty. It's the double-edge sword of modern digital life. It's free and easy to create content and make it available to the masses. But, it's also free and easy for the masses to create content and make it available to you. Good luck.