The Other Omnivore’s Dilemma

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Image: Jonathan LiuImage: Jonathan Liu

Image: Jonathan Liu

I’m what you might call an experiential omnivore. It’s nothing new, really, and I’m sure many of you probably fit the same description: I like to read, watch TV and movies, listen to music, surf the web, play games. I like gadgets as much as the next guy. I like to travel. Sure, there are things that I’m less interested in (as I’m sure there are for you as well) but there are enough things that I do want to experience that, really, it’s not likely I’m going to ever run out of them.

Let’s take movies, for instance. I’m not on Netflix, partly because I have a backlog of DVDs—heck, even VHS tapes—that I already own and haven’t even gotten around to watching, not to mention my neighbor’s vast collection of which I’ve just barely scratched the surface. But when I do join (I’m sure it’s inevitable) I’ve got a lengthy list to add to my queue. Realistically? Even if I watched a couple movies each week, I could keep myself occupied for a couple years, and that’s not even taking into account all the new movies that will be released by the time I slog through my current list.

But who has time to watch that many movies? I have to keep up with the latest episodes of “Chuck” and “30 Rock,” plus a half-dozen murder-of-the-week police procedurals (each with its own unique twist, of course), and I haven’t even started obsessing about “Lost” and “Heroes” and “Fringe.” Sometimes I’m actually glad when shows get canceled because, hey, the only reason I’m caught up on “The Bionic Woman” is because it only lasted one season.

OK, you get the picture.

So there’s the dilemma: in a world so rich with choices, how do you decide what small slice to pick? Whether you’re going out to a restaurant for dinner or planning a vacation or picking a book to read, do you go for the old favorites or try something new? These days I find I’m always struggling to prioritize: do I follow a hundred geeks on Twitter or check on Facebook status updates from my friends? Do I write a post for GeekDad, or post on my personal blog about my geeklets’ most recent shenanigans? Do I go through my RSS feeds on Google Reader or pick up that novel I’ve been nipping at for the last three weeks?

The idea of “unplugging” for a while sounds tempting, until I consider the e-mail I’ll have when I return. (My recent computer crash and forced computer vacation cured of that dream.)

Oh, yeah, and then there’s the little things like jobs, housework, and kids.

So, dear readers, how do you deal with this omnivore’s dilemma? Do you go for breadth or depth of interest? (And if you manage to get both, please share your secret!)

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