THE LAST FEW MONTHS:
NEW INFORMATION THAT ISN’T GOSSIP OR WORD OF MOUTH: how do I get it?
I’ve glanced at the right side of Facebook or the minimized windows of TweetDeck, looking for key words as to what’s “trending,” clicking on links that friends post and occasionally perusing Newsy posts from the last 24 hours, trying to cram my daily news in between studying or sleeping or actually using the last of my dining hall swipes or hanging out with friends or timing exits/entrances perfectly as to bump into my crush or marginally fruitless-slaving away for my college newspaper.
And all I’ve gotten out of it is a permanently conditioned feeling of immediacy, the sense that I don’t have enough time to read something if it’s long, so I might as well find the information elsewhere.
I’ve habitually scrolled down to check how long a story is, and if it takes me more than 4 or so seconds, I’ve clicked out of tabs and started new Google searches, trying to find new concise versions. Even watching 3 minute Upworthy/Youtube videos is too long for me; it must be placed in immediate gif format with a small caption…. <so basically Buzzfeed>
So in this day and age, even when I’ve finished 4/6 of my freshman year classes, I still don’t have time to read Joshua Rothman’s New Yorker piece, Marina Keegan’s new book, a Yahoo! news expose on George W. Bush, my friend’s article for the Chicago Bureau.
But I do have time to click ‘Ctrl-F’ in the “how to craft a good resume” on the Business Insider website. Skim, get what I’m looking for, leave, a systematic methodology of trying to succeed that leaves me with little to no long-lasting benefits, the ones I gain from being quiet and contemplative and open-minded and letting the ideas flow, gently, in.
When I drop everything I’m doing, reduce it all, and just spend this summer catching up on culture – no, not just catching up, disciplining myself into keeping up consistently – when I finally stop scrolling because I finally know that getting a snapshot of how much supposedly-precious time I’m wasting isn’t the right way to live, then I’ll be fine.