Everyday we are flooded with articles on our newsfeeds, ranging in topics and appearances. Most often, the headline is misleading or feigns relevance in a shameless attempt to get us to click on it. And even then, we make a decision in under a minute as to whether we will continue reading it based solely on the web design and first line of copy.
Sometimes we go looking for these articles, whether to satisfy our curiosity or help us navigate a current problem. Other times, friends will send us these articles directly, or they’re just crowding our social media streams.
But who wants to read another article about “X Ways You Know He’s the One” or worse, “Find Out Which Famous Person Wore Sweatpants to Publix” [insert face palm]?
Despite the fact that these articles are most often unwelcome and offer little value, everyone keeps writing them. Hell, even I keep writing them. And people just keep reading them.
Personally, writing helps me release pent up emotions onto paper (or screen).
It’s therapy for me. I get why I did and will write. I get why I’m writing this article now — because there are thoughts looming in my mind that only make sense after I let the characters fall into place and make sentences. That’s the only way the world makes sense to me.
But why do we read the things we do? What are we really filling our heads with? Have you ever really thought about what your digital footprint represents, or if you’d agree with the types of content you’ve read up to this point? And has any article out there really changed the way you lived your life the next day?
At the end of your life if you were to be given a book of everything you’ve ever read online, what would you think of yourself?
Imagine getting that book in your hand and thinking back on everything you’ve spent your life reading. Did you learn something? Did you laugh a little harder? Did you make something out of it or did it help you solve a problem? Or would you wish you didn’t click it at all?
So why do we continue to read those articles that don’t help us learn, laugh, or grow?
We get to the end of an article about something trivial and we’re disappointed. Yet, we’ll still click on the next article that catches our attention, letting us know what nail polish a Kardashian is wearing today. We’ll still do it even if we complain about it or pretend we don’t.
However, there is a solution — stop wasting your time on articles that don’t mean anything. Because 10 years from now do you really care about what celebrities named their kids after a fruit or what animal you look like?
Start reading articles that change things for you and make your life easier and better and more enjoyable – even if it starts off small.
Read articles that unearth wisdom and help change your way of thinking.
Learn how to plan a cheap European vacation and explore somewhere new. Learn a new recipe that helps you become the cook you always knew you could be. Find a new career tip that helps you land that next job. Find something that will help a friend when they need it most.
Start reading the stuff that makes a difference and brings you closer to the person you want to be. Cut out the garbage and give your mind the knowledge it deserves. Most of the articles you’ve read, or will read, will not completely alter your future, but you have the power to avoid the articles that will serve no purpose at all.
So, imagine again — later in life you’re given the book of everything you’ve ever read online. How do you want yours to look?