I have experienced the same thing, you can learn a lot from SO.
When I stated with Stack Overflow about 3 years ago, I knew what topics I was interested in and I kept reading lots of questions and answers, while trying to answer them as well. Over time my focus has shifted around between:
- mostly reading answers (to gain knowledge and find answers to problems that I didn't have),
- mostly reading questions (to learn about what people are having trouble with in the frameworks that I know and use)
- mostly answering questions (to share knowledge but also my understanding about the frameworks and best practices)
I don't think any of these are phases that you get over, and the split between the three has probably always been around 50% - 25% - 25%. I feel that for anyone who want to keep learning, doing all three of these to some extent is important.
What I did was to subscribe (with email) to the tags that I enjoy the most and take the time to read almost all the new questions that come in (they are not high frequency tags, there is probably slight less than 10 questions in a day). I would recommend that you try it out and see how you like it. After a while you start noticing patterns in the questions that are asked and you find common misunderstandings (in the questions) and different peoples solutions (in the answers) to the same problem (yes, duplicates happen quite a lot).
While I believe this is a good thing, I don't think it is the desired intent and I don't think that Stack Overflow should try and adapt to this (either for or agains) in any way. However, I think it fun and good to see external systems trying to take this information, the good questions and answers that developers should read and share them. For example, this twitter account (which I assume is a bot).