Nicolas Magand on the internet

Comments about tech, media, nature, &c.

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Filtering by Tag: reading

"Live the internet at your own pace"

Manu Moreale, on why he is getting rid of feeds in his digital routine:

I don’t want to live a life where “staying up to date” is a priority. I don’t need that. I don’t need to always know what’s going on everywhere and with everyone. And neither do you (probably). Which doesn’t mean that I stopped reading or listening to what people have to say. I still enjoy reading good blog posts and listening to great podcast episodes. It simply means that I’m no longer subscribed to their feeds.

I see his point, but it implies that feeds have to be read now, and that unread counters have to be down to zero.

I have the opposite approach : I use feeds for most things (RSS, Twitter, newsletter) – even for YouTube channels I use RSS – but I don't mind an unread counter; from time to time I just mark everything as read. I prefer feeds because it is a centralised way of following topics I care about and minds I value. Feeds are a way for me to not wander too much. I have a few websites that I keep checking via direct access, but mostly because of their superior homepage.

I join Moreale on his conclusion though :

Good content is rarely time sensitive. You don’t need to consume it NOW. Take your time, live the internet at your own pace.

Exactly. That is also why I don't follow too many people on Twitter, I don't subscribe to too many podcasts, etc. Same goal, different ways.

Wasting time on the internet and digital boredom

Dan Nosowitz for the New Yorker, in a piece to which I was nodding all along; beautifully written too, as you can tell from the first paragraph:

The other day, I found myself looking at a blinking cursor in a blank address bar in a new tab of my web browser. I was bored. I didn’t really feel like doing work, but I felt some distant compulsion to sit at my computer in a kind of work-simulacrum, so that at least at the end of the day I would feel gross and tired in the manner of someone who had worked. What I really wanted to do was waste some time.

I highly recommend you read the whole thing, especially if you’re looking to ‘waste time’, but so many great points made here, and such a pleasure to read.

Speaking of losing time when using the computer: Very often, after I’ve read the news from a website I like, I open a new tab and spontaneously start typing the first letters of the same website, for the browser to suggest the full URL. It happens every day, and sometimes I have to wait for the page to load to realise I was already reading the same website. As if I did not have an Instapaper list the size of a small novel to keep me busy already. Is there a name for it? If not I suggest hypernewtabophagia.

My thanks to Daniel Benneworth-Gray for including this link in the latest Meanwhile newsletter.