The Online Article: America’s Biggest Productivity Thief

The work of the world must still be done,
And minds are many though truth be one.

Sir Henry John Newbolt

I subscribe to many websites, blogs, etc. and they’re standing in the way of my dreams of fame and fortune. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve frittered (FRITTERED I SAY!) er, away on aimless web surfing. I’ll read a semi-interesting article on the True Detective series only to find that I’m 3 hours deep into my research on the influence of the King in Yellow on H.P. Lovecraft’s writing and his invention of the Necronomicon. It was a fun ride, but I could have used the time to actually get stuff done in my day jorb or pursue my non-existent writing career.

Online articles and blogs are designed to work this way. One links to another, there are additional pieces I might “also like” at the bottom. A vicious cycle of clicking and reading. Then, one article reminds you of something you learned in college about the Crusades. I’d better go to Wikipedia and check that out. Holy crap, they have a section dedicated to each Crusade? Which one was Saladin in? This is how my feeble brain works.

On nights when I’m having trouble sleeping, if I start reading articles on my phone I could be up for HOURS. If I read a book, I can usually get back to sleep quick. Reading articles on a mobile device has made it so easy to jump from one thing to the next. Your brain kind of flits about like a humming bird. A book doesn’t scramble your brain like that. Even a gripping thriller doesn’t do it.

In a way, articles are like flipping around on TV. You’re always looking for something better or new to entertain you. Whereas reading a book is more like streaming a movie on Netflix. You’re settled in you’re not searching anymore. You’re being entertained.

As such, I’m going to stop reading so many damn articles and reclaim my productivity. If you read all the way to the end of this post, you probably need to do the same.

If not, subscribe and stay tuned for tomorrow’s rambling post!


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