I vowed on Monday not to visit either Hacker News or Reddit.com for a week starting from yesterday. And my god has it been painful.
I can hardly believe it's already been almost 48 hours. What's most unbelievable to me is how much more "stuff" I have gotten done without the constant urge to check out what's going on in the social-news-o-sphere. In many ways I feel like I'm a little disconnected, but in other ways I feel completely free.
The Internet is addicting. Social news is addicting. The reason is simple. People want to be entertained and spoon-fed. We have become very dependent on having other people give us information…ANY information, even if it's completely irrelevant to our daily life.
Some may argue (with good reason, might I add) that almost everything is relevant in some sense. We always have room to learn about the people around us and the events that are occurring. Unfortunately, though, the difference between news and entertainment has begun to blur beyond recognition.
This is one of the problems with social news. Posts such as "What is something really embarrassing you have done, but never" are put right alongside posts like "IRAN: Video shows gunman opening fire on demonstrators, who fight". Who is there to separate the crap from the good stuff? That's right, YOU! BTW, I am not allowing myself to click those links. I found them through Google.
Reading these submissions is time consuming, and so what usually happens is that even if you don't particularly care about an IAmA about a zookeeper, you'll probably find yourself clicking on the link just to see what all the fuss is about. It's so easy, right?
Right, but there's a cost. There is an almost constant distraction and urge to just "click".
Stop the clicking and start the doing. I guess that's the lesson for today.
Originally posted at http://dloewenherz.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-social-news-escape-day-two.html