Chasing the online dragon

A thought occured to me this very evening (well, morning) as I was sat at home after coming back from work, with iTunes catching all the latest Podcasts, RSS feeds letting me know of anything new and (obviously, since you subscribe to feeds yourself) interesting happenings, and TweetDeck letting me know that I had at least 104 unread tweets — although I don’t use TweetDeck all the time, so it doesn’t know if I’ve already read them or not.

There’s something very exasperating about having so much information to catch up on, that at times I just can’t be bothered to work my way through it all and I let it all pile up until one day I’m forced to just to get it out of the way (hmm… a bit like tidying my room then!). But at the same time, because all of this information that’s flooding itself over me like an avalanche is content that I actively subscribed to, and thus relevent to my interests, it can be enjoyable to do – I quite like waiting around until the end of the day to catch up on all the news — obviously this only applies when I’m not around to catch it as it occurs.

But then when I’ve caught up, the number of new podcasts/feeds/emails reads ‘0’ and all the news has slowed down because it’s the evening, it’s quite possibly the most bored I can ever get (apart from General Studies back in College) – I’ve ran out of things to catch up on, and wouldn’t my time have been better spent doing something more productive, or even making some of this news for myself? As the internet reaches out into the future, we’re just going to be catching up on past events more and more.

Does anybody else experience this, or does it mean that I’m turning into an internet addict?

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One response to this post.

  1. I have a similar thing. I keep up with Twitter fairly well, thanks to a combination of Firefox plugin TwitterFox and “Tweets60” on my smartphone. Actually, because of the latter, I’ve become more fanatical about catching up. Before, I did have to be somewhat cest la vi about the postings I’d missed. That is, I think the best way to approach twitter is like tuning into a live radio show. You can’t do anything about what you missed while you weren’t at the radio, so just enjoy what comes along while you’re listening in.

    Podcasts and newsfeeds are different. I have Miro and Google Reader, and they are a pretty good repository. Both allow me to get a big backlog, the trick is to not feel stressed to hell when you see big unread numbers count up. With those things, i can just take my time, if the un-read numbers stay high for a week or two, so be it, In the end the stuff you get in, and the time you have to process it will all even up. And, if they don’t even up after say a month, then you’ve had more important things to worry about and should mark as read / delete such things and start from scratch.

    Hope all this made sense, as per your tweet about this post, it’s late and I’ve just written this on the fly 🙂

    Reply

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