I noticed a couple of things recently about my online reading habits that I thought might be helpful:
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a tendency to bookmark a lot of blog posts and news articles but can never keep up with them. Almost immediately, I develop an ever-growing backlog of posts, and the thought of catching up on all this material that I was (at least at one point) interesting in reviewing becomes too daunting to consider.
I went through my Feedly bookmarks list, which at that point was over 500 links strong, and started deleting stories that I wasn’t interested in reading anymore. As I did so, I noticed that much of what I was deleting were news stories and hot takes about “current events” that, up to a year later, now don’t seem very pressing or even informative. So many breathless responses to political events or online squabbles, so many “five results of the latest decision by X” that didn’t pan out the way the author thought (or at all).
I was reminded of a truth that everyone knows but that hides in plain sight: much of what we consider “urgent” and “newsworthy” won’t matter in six months, or a year, or ten years, or eternity. They are blips and shadows, made of nothing and gone.
The more I think on this, the fewer times I hit “bookmark.” I find myself now, scanning what might amuse or inform, and saving what I want to ponder that may actually matter.
I’ll get around to it all someday, I’m sure.
Speaking of feeds, I was looking at my Medium bookmarks again. (Remember when I said I wanted to do a weekly round-up of things that were interesting? Yeah, I’m gonna try to get back to that this week.)
You can tell a lot about the state of your heart/mind by what stories draw your interest. I would encourage you (even dare you) to try it, just to see what it is that draws your attention these days.
(And there is also the question of curation: we can limit or expand what stories we search and see on such sites. Mainly, I’m pulling from the few topics I’ve marked as interests for the site’s algorithm [that’s a whole ‘nother discussion] as well as sites I follow. I think the idea still fits, though.)
In the interest of authenticity, here’s a sampling of what my Medium bookmarks reveal about my
- I haven’t given up on the idea of writing novels, even if I’m not following through by actually, ya know, writing.
- I’m interested in procrastinating less / producing more; having a killer morning/evening/lunchtime/workday routine; sleeping more; sleeping less; drinking lots of coffee; leveling up my life in a host of potentially contradictory ways.
- I’m feeling politically orphaned, and want to read other people who agree that being conservative doesn’t necessarily mean riding the GOP bandwagon all the way down the line. I’m also interested in hearing about the experiences of people I disagree with politically, but only as much as it doesn’t annoy me greatly.
- I want to quit social media. Badly. But I can’t seem to do it.
- Yeah, I really want to be more productive, it seems. So many #LIFEHACKy things.
- I’m curious about self-publishing my books, and have been collecting all sorts of tips and tricks.
- I like thinking about storytelling in film and books, and how those things speak to cultural and spiritual discussions.
- Posts about fitness and fatness, about food and exercise, about healthy self-image.
- No surprise, an up-tick in articles about fatherhood at the end of last summer.
- “Social media is terrible! Let’s read 300 articles about it.”
- Posts about Christianity and about marriage are coming up more frequently in recent months.
- Morning routines! Habit-building! Do more! Make more! Ship more! Ugh.
- …And after you finish working out at 5 a.m. like all the #LIFEHACK #WINNING people are, isn’t it time to start working on that book, Dave?
There ya go. I…I’m gonna go take some time to ponder my life. I’ll catch ya later.