RSS Dependency

Hi, my name is LtL and I’m an RSS feedaholic.

Partly it’s due to the nature of my job and the fact that I sit at a computer, fairly bored and use various feeds as a distraction. Partly it’s because I use Newsgator’s feed-reader, NetNewsWire which allows me to keep my feeds synced between computer, iPhone, and web.

The problem is three-fold:

My attention span is decreasing and I find myself skimming headlines or synopsis instead of taking the time to read full articles.

Instead of reading any number of books that I keep on my iPhone (including works by Saki, whose short stories are perfect for reading when you only have a few minutes of time), I read (or skim) dozens of articles about the fabled Mac Tablet, or any number of articles from ScienceDaily that I don’t bother to really understand.

I file away hundreds of articles for future use in the “My Clippings” folder . . . and then rarely use or reference them in a productive manner.

To deal with these issues, I’m going to cull my feeds, keeping no more than 10 news feeds (the feeds I get from friends’ websites are exempt), and make a conscious effort to read the full articles instead of just skimming the headlines and pretending like I’ve learned something. I’m also going to remove NetNewsWire from my iPhone for at least 1 week to see if I really need to have continual access tech, news, and political feeds (I’m guessing I don’t). If my commute was a lengthy one, or I was going on a trip, I might want to have those updates on my phone, but let’s face it, if I’m not at home I’m at work and in both places I have a computer. If I’m out for several hours I certainly don’t need to see what TUAW has posted and I certainly don’t need to compulsively check my feeds on my iPhone when I’m in bed, or watching tv, etc.

Finally, I’m going to get rid of the 414 stories I’ve kept in the “My Clippings” folder by either saving them in a research folder on my computer, deleting them outright, or sharing them with you in a series of link posts that will be hitting the site over the next few days – so get ready for some major links lovin’ heading your way.

All of this is in service of identifying and changing habits that are not particularly useful in helping me focus and achieve my daily and weekly goals.

On this day..