When Napster first hit the scene, people listened to as many different songs as they could. It was a feast of music discovery, fueled by access and curiosity.
Now, the typical Spotify user listens to music inside a smaller comfort zone.
When blogs were fresh and new, we subscribed to them by the hundreds, exploring, learning and seeking more. Over time, many people stopped following the outbound links.
When Twitter was new, just about anything seemed worthy of a retweet. Not so much for many people today. And podcasts are already starting to fill people up, making us feel like we don't have the time to listen to more.
We come up with all sorts of excuses about our fatigue, most of them have to do with the fact that there's nothing good on, nothing new happening, or we're just too busy. I don't think those hold water…
I think there are actually three reasons:
First, once you're busy with what you've got, it diminishes the desire to get more.
Second, discovery is exhausting. Putting on a new pair of glasses, seeing the world or hearing the world or understanding the world in a new way is a lot more work than merely cruising through a typical day.
And third, infinity is daunting. A birdwatcher might be inspired to keep seeking out new birds, because she knows she's almost got them all. But the infinity of choice that the connection economy brings with it is enough to push some people to artificially limit all that input.
I think it's way too early to announce to ourselves that we've read the internet and we're done.