I love my iPod. I use it to store and listen to music rather than my iPhone. It's always on when I'm travelling from A and B. And it's too full to fit anything other than my weekly intake of podcasts. (At some point, I think because I crave novelty, I started listening more to podcasts than my own music. My pocket couldn't keep up with my appetite for new. So I listen to a lot of podcasts.)
So the other week, more as a test of personal stamina than anything else, I decided I would try going seven days without listening to my iPod.
It was quite hard when I started. I missed the distraction whilst commuting on the train, I missed the input and I missed the interiority I could achieve whilst walking to work. When I didn't have a book to read, I was listless and stir-crazy.
But then again, I did end up reading a lot more. And more quickly at that. I noticed old things differently.
And spotted new things also. Like this chap's Top Gun t-shirt.
Or how much the air conditioning nozzles look like weird eyes peering out of the train wall, into the carriage. And silly bits of extra input made it easier, fun even.
As the week passed, I also realised, by what I was missing, that I had been lining up different sorts of content to different moments in the week. Monday is definitely a discussion-heavy, current affairs type of commute. Tuesday and Wednesday are more music-based, usually a mix of some sort. Thursday tends to be the Radio 4 books or something with more cultural pretensions. And I'd somehow (roughly) scheduled all of this unconsciously.
So it was interesting. Not better or worse, just having a piece of attention back to spend in a different way. Sometimes it's worth remembering you can opt in and out, whether it's In Our Time or the Wolf+Lamb podcast. And, especially if you have a big appetite, you need a way to curate or occasionally filter out your media.