On Internet Reading Habits

I read. A lot. All the time. Too much.

I read to be entertained, to fight off boredom, as a means of avoiding dreadful work. I read to escape, to learn, and to be inspired. There used to be a lot more junk. Nowadays, it’s heavy on the inspiration, learning, and lighter on mindless entertainment. But it’s still too much. It’s a crutch an escape mechanize and I believe it’s one of the things preventing me from really doing things.

Instead of knowing, really understanding something, I get the cliff notes version of life, news, pop culture. While I believe reading on the internet can contribute, sway, and alter my perspective, it also keeps me from going deeper.

Sometimes reading takes my focus. Sometimes reading makes me feel bad. And sometimes reading is just procrastination.

I’d like to be held accountable. While I’m not longer hitting refresh on celebrity gossip blogs, I read a lot of things that should really fall under “April, mind your own business.”

In an effort to track how much I read, there is a google doc that I update with the article name, URL, and a quote. I am now going to share a week’s update with you all. Here we go.

What I read This Week graphic graphic
  • Productivity Playlist, aka How a college drinking game inspires my productivity. by Tiffany Han, “Y’all know I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique – as a way to remian productive, you break your work into 25-minute sections, taking a 5-minute break after each burst of work.”
  • On Owning All of It by Lisa Congdon, “Another thing I learned from Cheryl Strayed last night is that the pain of editing a book is necessary, just like the pain of editing your life (your relationships, your work) is necessary. I am learning that owning the entire experience of my life, even the really hard and shameful parts, is critical, not just to being a good writer, but also to being a good human.”
  • 5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in San Francisco + Our Story on Oh Happy Day, “We wanted to give up, but then I tried looking for 1 bedroom apartments with bonus rooms. I found a vague listing that was half the price of the two bedroom apartments we were looking at. It was located on the best street in San Francisco but there weren’t clear pictures or many details.”
  • Why You Should Fire Yourself on Copyblogger, “There are two essential ways a small business owner works — in their business or on their business. Working on the business means stepping away from the daily grind to do some planning and strategic thinking… Most small business owners get caught up in working in their business all the time, and never working on their business.“So,” I said to Alex, “fire yourself as the copywriter and hire yourself as CEO.” …Make sure to think completely objectively about your business, and be prepared to make hard decisions. Push yourself to think creatively and strategically… A good rule of thumb is to fire yourself for a day or two every quarter.”
  • If You Want to Be Married Young, You Should Marry While Young on The Atlantic, “To decide to romantically cohabitate with another person for the rest of your life, to make a family with that person, is to go to war. To borrow the language of my mother — you had best love their dirty drawers, because you will be seeing them…The dynamics of power — societal and personal — are inseparable from marriage.”
  • Nora Ephron’s Rule of Four: How To Intrigue and Satisfy Your Dinner Guests on Apartment Therapy, “In particular she talks about meeting Lee Bailey, who more than anyone else inspired her to find her own unique, personal style of cooking and entertaining. It’s from him that she learned what she says is one of the key elements to a successful dinner party: having a fourth food on the plate that’s unexpected and delicious.”
  • Rick Ross, Don Draper, and the fantasy world of masculinity on Feministing, “It finally hit me: Rick Ross is basically hip-hop’s version of Don Draper… They are both products of fiction. They’re both identity thieves whose actual life stories hold the potential to ostracize them from their chosen communities. But more importantly, they both have constructed elaborate fantasy worlds around an idea of masculinity they know isn’t true to who they are.”
  • Fired SendGrid Developer Evangelist Adria Richards Speaks Out on All Things D, “And I do believe there is good to be found in this situation. Debate and recrimination can and must give way to dialog that explores the root causes of these issues in the tech industry.”
  • How to Get a Black Woman Fired in Six Tired Steps by Channing Kennedy, “let’s look at the other side and examine how trolls, mansplainers, amateur Internet career counselors — plus some self-identified feminists and well-meaning types — willfully or unwittingly contribute to a pattern that just so happens to rescue large groups of professional white men from the unchecked tyranny of individuals who aren’t professional white men.”
  • Tyler, the Creator – Wolf review on Pitchfork
  • MISS MANNERS: Thank You Notes – Courtney Khail stops by to teach the art of thank you notes. on Rue Mag, “Thank them for the gift. Let them know how you will use it… Reference the past and look forward to the future.
  • The Anti-Social Era: Lessons Learned from Vimeo Founder Jake Lodwick on PandoDaily, “Millions of people use Vimeo. How many people use NowDoThis, his personal task app that never gained popularity? It doesn’t matter, because the product’s success is contingent only upon Jake finding it valuable. If that is the philosophy by which you approach entrepreneurship, you will succeed. … Lesson 2: Coming to terms with failure is not enough — you must learn to ignore shame… Life lasts a long time. You can disappear or be useless for weeks. Lesson 3: Sometimes it is ok to be nobody, useless, anti-social, and alone. If you are coming off several years of hard work, you can disappear and be useless for months… and the only impact that it will have on your success is that it will make you more successful. You are missing out on nothing.”
  • America is raising a generation of interns on The Week, “There has been a cultural shift toward something more sinister — that you have to invest in yourself and we are each out there on our own,” Perlin explains. “There is no idea of a social investment in our promising young people. Increasingly, you invest in your own human capital or your family does. There is no sense of shared responsibility.”
  • The Joke’s On Us? by Fictive Kin, “Yesterday, on the heels of its acquisition, popular recipe site Punchfork closed its doors. This kind of acquisition / shutdown combo is increasingly common these days, but there were some things about the way Punchfork bowed out that caught our eye: The fairly callous exit post, The ominous shutdown banner. The complete lack of any communication about what would happen to user data.”

And the real, actual books…
– Finished: Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
– Started: Wolf Hall

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