On My Own

A Personal Journal
by Davood Denavi

Do We Really Read Things Later?

When I participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge back in October 2023 I had a goal of having a new website for my business rebuilt by the beginning of 2024. While that has mostly happened I am not quite read to show off my new business website because I am still restructuring a few things relating to my business and I am still busy with work. As a result of that… this month I will be posting daily about a wide range of topics including but not limited to Interface Design, Productivity.  Relationships, and Web Site Development. In this article, I will discuss the topic of reading things, on the internet, later.

Reading is an activity that I find to be relaxing, as do many other people I know. When the first iPhone was released in 2007 reading things online changed in a big way. However, it took until January 28, 2008 for the first app which allowed users to save things to read later to be released. That app was Instapaper. Fast two short years to 2010 when Apple released the first generation iPad. One of the first apps that came out for iPad was Flipboard, a newspaper aggregation app.

While I thought Instapaper was a wonderful idea I had no need to use it until I was using Flipboard. While I owned an iPad soon after the first one was released in 2010 I was not using Flipboard until 2012 when they released an iPhone app. That was when I felt a need to start saving more things to read later and therefore turned to Instapaper to start saving things to read later.  Things only got worse in 2014 when Facebook released a “Save for later” feature which allows users to save posts to read later right inside the Facebook mobile app and three years later when Google added a new bookmarking feature that they called “Read List” in their Chrome browser.

In December 2023 I was setting set a couple short term goals to prepare for 2024. One of them involved cleaning up my Instapaper app since I had 100+ articles saved that I had yet to read. When setting these goals I also decided it was time to clean up my Facebook “Save for later” and my Chrome “Reading List” because at first glance I was seeing lots of duplicates. This meant I had saved the same thing to at least two places without actually reading it. Today, I have my Chrome Reading List down to under ten items which were all saved in the last three days and my Instapaper down to 33 items. As for Facebook, well, I have that down to only sports articles that I will likely end up completely deleting by the end of January.

So, do we actually read things later? Here’s the thing folks: I do not care if it is an article online an important email for work that is not time sensitive or a text long text message from a friend… I always read things when my time permits it. That could mean later today or a year from now. It really just depends.

With that… structure your reading schedule how you see best and do not let technology control it for you.

If you cannot relax while reading something then that means it is important so don’t relax.

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