Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Decluttering: Long Form Over Short Form

A friend posted an interesting article from The Atlantic on my Facebook page yesterday.

It wasn’t a Tweet. It wasn’t a meme. It wasn’t a pithy quote of encouragement.

It was an article that takes a solid 15 minutes to carefully read and digest.

That article was much more nourishing to my mind and soul than a Tweet or a meme or a pithy quote of encouragement.

A book is even better.

Media that requires focused concentration over a period of time is better than headlines and snippets that most of us read while scrolling. Fake news isn’t so much “fake news” as it is misleading headlines to articles that no one actually takes the time to read (even if the article is short).

One of the takeaways I have from my month of digital decluttering is to focus on books and long-form articles. This sort of media has contain more rigorous and analytical research than Tweets and statuses.

There is still a place for short-form.
But that’s not necessarily where I want to spend the majority of my time.

Here are a couple of hints:

1. Use Instapaper (or some other read later/offline application).

I love Instapaper. It’s clean, easy, has a spiffy little plugin for Safari, and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. I schedule time each week to read articles and emails that I’ve saved for deeper study. If the article is something I will want to save permanently, I stick it in Evernote for safekeeping (Although, I’m a little annoyed with Evernote right now and am trying on Notion for size. I like Notion a lot, but results to be determined).

2. Schedule "deep read" time.

I have one morning per week set aside for article reading. I have my nose in a book every day (Scheduled reading time, as well as lot’s little reading breaks). People don’t read long-form because they only read snippets from scrolling social media, and then there’s no time.
Declutter your digital life, and my guess is you’ll have time to read longer, more thoughtful pieces.

It makes you and the world around you better.