Free is supposed to be straightforward: you pay nothing and receive something. Except that even free stuff takes your time. Time you could spend doing things that need to be done or truly matter to you.
At other times free is not free at all: if you have to drive 30 min to get a free slice of pizza you still payed the gas in your car.
Depending on what you are consuming something that is free now might suddenly hit you in the future. A good example is free newspapers: if you are a fairly sensitive person you know the price you feel for reading can be that you feel down or angry about something most days (without ever taking any action to help anyone ever).Those therapist bills will add up to way more than the subscription of a magazine that you truly value could every cost.
Even if you are not a sensitive person every piece of information you consume requires your brain to work, which means it will have less energy to do other things. Since we can’t ask our brain for Google Analytics on what exactly is slowing it down the only way we can know the difference is when we stop doing certain behaviours and see what happens.
What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Free stuff can turn you into something or someone you don’t want to be.
Luckily it can do the opposite as well: bring you closer to who you are and who you want to be. However for that to work you have to say no to lots of ‘free’ stuff.