Monday, 18 February 2013


I've been a little quiet here this last week. I've had a cold and I've been busy but I've also felt an affliction that I suffer from fairly frequently. I call it web-overwhelm.

Think calm. Be calm. Read this.

One of the reasons I started this blog was an attempt to deal with this, but I'm not so sure how successful it's been. I thought here I could list and store things I loved that I found on the net, could file them away to remember them and to remind myself to do them later, to make them, to read or listen to them, to remind myself about them.

And it has done some of that. But as I've followed more links, clicked onto more sites, I've found the amount of things on the web that interest me is endless. I've been pulling pages onto my bookmark toolbar in Firefox, adding blogs to Bloglovin, making notes in Evernote. And all these things just seem to add up to an ever-increasing and very rarely decreasing web-to-do list.

And it weighs me down. When I have to hunt through that bookmark toolbar and scroll though dozens of pages before I reach a specific one I saved, just a week ago, then the sheer amount of information I have given myself to read feels like nothing more than than something else to work through, rather than enjoy in any way.

So what to do?

I've found this post some help, especially this part:

"Pick a handful of sources. There’s an almost unlimited amount of reading out there, and you could do it all day and not make a dent in just what was created today. So let go. Pick just a few good sources (including news sites and blogs and social news and more), and check them once a day at most."

This is true. No matter how hard I may try, I cannot read everything I want to.

But what I am trying to do is read things that interest me, when they interest me. I've spent what feels like years skim-reading, then tucking things away into various bookmarking sites, to read later, when I've got more time. Which is, of course, never. So I'm trying to read more carefully, to take in the information I want when I see it. It's not easy. I think most people feel they're always up against the clock, whatever they're doing. But I'm reaching a point when I'm considering deleting all my bookmarks just to feel more in control again. And so a change of some sort has to happen.

I'm also going to consider joining Instapaper and saving the words simply, and I may well resurrect my old Pinterest account and see if I can use that for fast and easy bookmarking - I do love visual bookmarks (although I am very aware that pinterest just leads me to browsing the boards and finding heaps more things to bookmark...).

I'm going to read this post again and carefully, knowing how much sense it made the first time I read it, and the second time. I've linked to this before in my decluttering post here. The sentiments behind the need to have a digital tidy-up may not be exactly the same, but the ultimate goal is - to make the web easier to negotiate and clear some of the backlog that ties.

And I may well download this free ebook about focus - because focusing on exactly what you're doing, and what you're on the web for, must surely help with not feeling overwhelmed by the rest.

I hope this has been some help, and I hope to be back on the web a little more, but takng things a little more carefully.


  1. I get to this point every so often, too. It is a total digital overload. If I am not careful, this blogging thing can become an all-consuming distraction that leaves me feeling anxious and my homework neglected. That was never the point. Balance. I keep repeating that word to myself. Great post!

    1. That's exactly it, balance. I seem to lose it too often! In fact, I think I'm on the verge of doing so today! I'm guessing it's a constant battle... thanks for the comment :)

  2. I know just what you mean. I've tried to consolidate what I view -like getting rid of facebook, and using bloglovin to keep track of blogs by category (design, architecture, etc.) and favorite things I want to reference on my blog. I also watch how much time I spend reading them so I don't let too much go by. Still need to get around to cleaning up my bookmarks but that's so daunting!

    1. My bookmarks scare the life out of me too! As I'm adding blogs in Bloglovin I am categorising them, but I still worry about either having too many categories in Evernote, or not enough so I can't find things again!

      The point you make about time is a good one - it's something I'm going to start doing, clock-watching while I'm on the web.

      Thanks for your comment :)

  3. i know exactly what you are saying. i get overwhelmed by it all too. i do find pinterest a really good source to organize my internet stuff. now that they have 3 private boards, i also will also use it to pin inspiration for blog posts when i am feeling stuck. for me the visual is great, like you, my bookmarks don't get a lot of love.

  4. Yes, I've found the private boards really helpfully for filing things for later use - especially as I'm not great at pinning things to the right board initially anyway! Thanks for the comment - it's great to know I'm not alone :/

  5. I feel the same way about reading things that interest you when they interest you. It's kind of like reading a book in a bad mood, it's harder to get into it. When we read things when we need them I think we benefit that much more. So great point indeed.

    1. Thank you :) I'm happier reading less online at the moment, but reading it more carefully. And when it's right to, as well :)


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