Fear Of Missing Out

People that know me know that I like to stay up to date on what’s going on in the industry, new technologies, and so on. Mostly this is because I have a passion for technology and for learning. However, there is almost certainly a part of me that also, as many people do, has the fear of missing out (FOMO). That is, you are afraid to get left behind so you keep sipping from the fire hose constantly, because you believe everyone else is doing the same.

So Much Content!

There are many many fine podcasts out there. I used to listen to Packet Pushers, Software Gone Wild, Talk Python to Me, Clear to Send, and many more. These shows are extremely good at producing content consistently. Unfortunately, that means that you have maybe 4-5h of content to consume each week. That’s too much for me.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I’m a very analytical person. Both by nature, and in my job role as an Architect. My brain is constantly analyzing, thinking, trying to solve problems. This makes me very efficient, but it also adds stress, and can make it difficult to wind down. As anything I do, I consider what is the return on investment (ROI). How much worse will I be at my job if I cut down on podcasts? Probably marginally, if at all. I have to consume a lot of content, for possibly a small increase in skill. Once again, this is not because the content is bad, it’s very good, but where I’m at, it’s not adding much.

What I’m Doing Now

I still listen to podcasts. Occasionally. However, I don’t feel bad when I’m not up to speed with all of the content. Now, I only listen to podcasts when I’m doing something boring, such as a chore, cleaning, folding laundry etc. The shows I listen to are mostly on what’s going on in the industry. If I find a show that covers a certain topic that I’m interested in, or relates to something I’m working on, then I’ll listen to it. I won’t listen to all of the shows just because. For example, automation, wireless, security etc are interests, but they are not my main focus, I don’t need to consume all that content unless there is a specific topic of interest.

Being Mindful

Being the person I am has taken me far, but it also creates its own set of problems. At a certain age, you also realize that there’s more to life than ONLY technology, although it’s still my main passion. Especially now with the pandemic going on, I have prioritized to be more mindful. I try to make a little time each day for some meditation. I have also stopped listening to podcasts or music when I’m outside, with the exception being running. Instead, I try to listen to the sounds of nature, kids playing, feel the sun on my face, the wind on my skin. If that sounds like mumbo jumbo to you, that’s perfectly fine, I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t care. However, I know that mental health is a big problem today, especially in IT, so please do me the favor of considering your habits. I know changing mine has had a positive effect.

Why I Have Almost Quit Podcasts
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4 thoughts on “Why I Have Almost Quit Podcasts

  • April 29, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Really enjoyed your honest opinion. As you said this Pandemic has provided an opportunity for all of us to pause and look back. I started meditation with 30 mins a day, now at 45 mins (23 days completed). now am feeling why i did not consider this before. I wont say am in bliss after meditation but rather it is providing me a calm mind, think before you act thing and more over its providing a real focus to me. All the best on your new journey.

    • April 30, 2020 at 7:53 am

      That’s great, Sunil! I’m also trying to get started with meditation.

  • April 29, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Daniel ,

    I have to say first of all i love this website its absolutely fantastic. I totally agree with everything you say with your post. A few years ago i got certified in CCNP routing and Switching , and two years ago i decided to mix it up and go down the security route and after 4 exams i am 1 exam away from being qualified as CCNP security.

    With the explosion of technologies and apps in the last few years what i’m trying to say is it hard to keep up. There’s also that work life balance , time with the family and also time for yourself to which is key. I also purposely avoid social media as i personally don’t believe they are good for the mind either.
    I am not interested in adding any stress being in a rat race , my health is my wealth so i try to stay in the present moment an move at my pace 🙂 My girlfriend always says to me “present moment present things”.

    What i’ve decided to do along time ago is do what i can get done in work , if i get a chance to study that’s a plus 🙂 and then when work finishes leave work at work 🙂 I even purposely did not put work e-mail on my phone 🙂 Then after work the worlds my oyster , quality time with family , movie , walk , gym , cooking , time with friends etc…

    I have set myself a target of CCIE Enterprise and its ultimately a goal i want to achieve and after CCNP security when i get this , the plan is for a break and then go for the CCIE and then that’s when i’ll stop studying 🙂 I am a techy head but there’s also loads of other things i want to see and do , who knows run a marathon , take up a martial art ,etc..
    I just wanted to show the way i approach things what works for me and if anyone can take something from it and it works for them that’s great.

    Daniel I wish you all the best future success and happiness

    • April 30, 2020 at 7:54 am

      Thanks, Stevo! The same to you! And good luck with your studies!


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