Online Reading

tl;dr – don’t read this (or any on this blog) post.

I’ve always read a ton of general and diverse stuff online – articles, blog posts, opinion pieces etc. I read books too but comparatively less (in time spent). A phenomenon I’ve noticed off late is that the constant barrage of reading material on the web has turned my brain to pulp. There is always something new to read, and the deceptive part is, while it all seems interesting (and important enough) content, it ends up being almost always superficial. Posts about ‘life lessons’ based on limited experiences, 6 ways to do X, How to do Y effectively, a so-called expert’s opinion, a rant here, a rave there, and so on. It is so easily available that it takes no effort to click on yet another link to read yet more fluff. Except the marginal utility of each additional click is diminishing.

Over the years, I’ve been sucked into consuming a ton of this stuff but sadly, I  feel that I haven’t learned (and more importantly, retained) anything (new). It’s like I’ve read a few words of every language but can’t speak a single one. Contrast that with a reading a full book where I almost always walk away with something that stays with me.

Having realized this now, I’ve had enough. I’m swearing off of most online reading. I want to be exceedingly selective about it and mostly do it only when I’m searching for something specific. While at it, I’m also tracking my time on websites now to keep tabs on my behavior.