As a person that is very involved with all that the wonderful web provides, it is sometimes a battle to not just dive into endless articles of fascinating news and ideas. The longer the web is around, the more interesting sites and reads I find. It starts to pile up!
It’s easy to get lost in reading reddit, twitter, facebook, G+, hacker news, reader, tumblr etc. Your brain goes off on this tangent of interestingness (fueled by dopamine hits of information). Before you know it, 2 hours have gone past and you haven’t done what you wanted to.
Adam Brault quit Twitter, and in that blog post, he said something that hit home:
I’ve realized how Twitter has made me break up my thoughts into tiny, incomplete, pieces—lots of hanging ideas, lots of incomplete relationships, punctuated by all manner of hanging threads and half-forked paths.
It’s time to change my consumption habits. This is how my mind is starting to think (and want).
There’s a reason why I decided to do my masters on information overload. I wanted to solve this for myself. How can we manage information in this unprecedented 21st century explosion of ideas?
I’ve already started to force myself to take breaks and just to go sit outside. I especially enjoy it in the summer as the sun sets, drinking a whiskey. I have to let go of wanting that constant drip of information.
The biggest change however is one that I’m embarking on right now. I recently got a Galaxy S3 (such a relief from my old HTC Wildfire). I’ve loaded up Pocket and going to use that as my main way to consume new articles. If I’m Hacker News or Twitter and find an interesting link, I’m going to add it to Pocket and leave it for later.
I want to unbundle information consumption to a set device, with set times.
In other words. My macbook needs to function mainly as a production or creative device. When I’m on it, I want my mind to be in a “write thesis”, “code”, “make music”, “e-mail” mode.
When I’m on my phone, it’s for Facebook, Twitter, G+, Tumblr, HN, etc.
To ‘stay’ recent, at first I’m going to try and restrict this to lunch and after ‘work’. At first, I’m only going to do this with feeds and articles. If that goes well, I can perhaps switch off Facebook and Twitter (other two culprits) during my times I want to product. Baby steps.
I’ve also started using Prismatic. It’s gotten great praise for handling news. So far, it’s been amazing. Finding awesome content through it. The interface still needs tweaks, and a native Android app. atm, I save links to Pocket through the browser. They haven’t integrated their “read later” with Pocket yet. I’ve tried to find a work-around, but haven’t found it yet. So, now I’m using Google Reader mainly for blogs that I know I want to read every post of (such as Elezea), which might not surface in Prismatic. I’ve unsubscribed from larger feeds such as TechCrunch.
My ideal flow would thus be to use Prismatic to surface content, save to Pocket and then read it mainly from my phone. If I find great links to share, I can simply add it from Pocket to Buffer and let fly back again into the www!
How has your information consumption habits changed? What is your main setup for reading new news and interesting articles?