Sometimes I put things on for background noise because I need to hear human voices. Look, I work from home. I often don’t go outside for days at a time. Katie’s not always here, and when she is she’s at her desk during office hours doing her own work. It gets a little lonely and weird. I usually open YouTube and put on some streaming news, or videos by people I follow, or old pirated talk shows. Once in a while I’ll watch a TED Talk.

If you want to actually learn something, use a TED Talk as the starting point. A lot of the lecturers have written books on the subject they’re discussing. Hell, the talk is often a way for them to promote their book. Finding that book will inevitably lead to some other suggested books on the same topic. Sometimes a talk will use terminology that I can use as keywords for a further search.

Watch a TED Talk, But Use It As a Springboard

I know that the intention of this prompt is to make me use at least a portion of my time devoted to passive entertainment for constructive purposes. There have been times when I was interested in a subject and went looking for TED Talks on the subject. When they’re randomly running as background noise, I will save ones that interest me to a playlist, and no back and watch them when I’m paying attention. That’s not my default mode, though. I don’t want edutainment. I want company. An important part of self-care for me is understanding that I don’t have to try to be productive every waking moment. Not every action I take has to have some payoff. Sometimes it’s just about filling an emotional need.

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