It turns out storing articles to read later isn’t such a great idea. I’m speaking for me, of course, but I’m probably also speaking for you. We have a lot of tabs open, we see stuff that’s interesting, we file it away for later in a product like Pocket, Instapaper, Safari’s Reading Mode, Pinboard, whatever. And then … we don’t actually go back and read those stories later. Maybe it’s just me? No, I don’t think it is.
I am currently going through my Safari Reading List item by item in order to figure out which things I want to save to my Instapaper, at which point it will automatically synchronise with my Pinboard account for some reason I can’t explain. Then I will … what? Magically start reading content that I’ve ignored for checks notes about eight years? This is madness.
Here’s a sampling of the dumb content I am sorting through from 2015:
- The AI Revolution
- Video Games’ Blackness Problem
- (A Fast Company story about Twitter)
- The Truth About Black Twitter
- (A Story About Facebook)
- Modern Design Tools: Adaptive Layouts
Why is this content stupid? Because it’s the same stuff we’re sharing today. It’s all the same thing. You might not agree, but you haven’t spent hours looking morosely at the garbage you were optimistically Saving For Later eight years ago, so you don’t know. Hey guys, it’s all garbage. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the articles I listed up there. Not the first three times, anyway. But the problem is that after doing this for hundreds of stories, there’s no range. It’s all the same stuff. Am I growing as a person? If so, it’s not because of what I’m reading, goddamn.
I need to do something drastic. Maybe I should just delete the whole thing and start over? And then maybe I should only mark things that I really do want to get back to later? Yeah, that should work.
Just like it did in 2014.