30 Jun 2013
Too often we read something, share it and talk about it, but fail to retain its meaning. Maybe you retweeted something about taking care of employees, but then you failed to show interest and compassion for an employee that came into work visibly upset. Maybe you just shared an article about the importance of open communication, but then disregarded comments from someone who tried to bring up a problem with you. Regardless of what it is, you’re wasting your time with all your reading if you don’t use it to drive action.
‘Do you really read?’ by Jason Evanish was one of those articles that put into words a collection of thoughts I’d been thinking for some time.
I spend far, far too much of my time jumping from article to article on the web with no unifying purpose, other than to fulfil a quick hit for information. There’s a general pattern of addiction that I can see present in my habits on a variety of internet interactions: on Facebook, Reddit, Hacker News. There’s the reflexive urge to check them on opening a browser, followed by rapid consumption of the most available items (notifications, images) which will provide the highest feeling of satisfaction per time spent.
I really wish I’d found a way of hijacking this mechanism of my mind before I’d graduated from university. Imagine being able to learn with the same driven fervour as when procrastinating.
Perhaps Jason is onto something. I think Hacker News is different from Facebook in Reddit in that, at the moment, it provides a generally high quality of content which in turn causes me to feel as if I’ve become better informed after reading each article. So often I’m left in conversation with a feeling like a word being on the tip of your tongue but a hundred times over, feeling like my head is full of a wealth of knowledge that I can’t quite fully recall about the topic at hand.
Here’s to writing notes, responding to and deep reading thoughtful articles on the web, letting them have a long term impact rather than glancing off the surface.
J at 15:57