Thursday, February 24, 2011

Woo-Hoo! I've caught up on my blogs!

I have an addiction. And addiction to reading blogs. An addiction to subscribing to blogs. And when I read a blog, if it links to another blog, I have to follow the link. And if I enjoy it, I'll most likely subscribe to that blog, too. And if I really, really like it, I'll start reading through the archives. And I'll almost certainly check out the blogs that blogger reads, and end up subscribing to some of those. Google Reader makes it so easy to subscribe. When I log in, I don't have to visit all my blogs, looking for new posts. All the new posts are sitting there waiting for me. I enjoy reading my favorite bloggers; they add humor, happiness, and encouragement to my day. It only takes a few seconds to read the average post. Very few take longer than a minute to read. And did I mention it's free?

But my blogs have a dark, insidious side. As much as I like to subscribe, I find it very hard to unsubscribe. After all, I like this blog. I signed up for it, didn't I? And so they accumulate. Then I have a busy day or two, or a week, and I can't read them all. Like The Newspaper That Shall Not Be Named, if I don't read the posts or throw them out, they pile up. And when I return, I have not only the day's new posts, but the backlog, which I may not have time to deal with. But I hate to delete any post unread. What if I miss some vital piece of information, insightful comment, thrilling narrative, or a joke that may put me in danger of inundating my unmentionables?

They not only accumulate, they sit there accusingly, like an unopened bill or report card, like undone homework or tax returns. The longer they sit, the less I want to think about them, so they pile up faster and deeper. By now the guilt of the messages I should have just deleted is added to that of the messages I  could have enjoyed, if I had only taken the time to read them. Some old posts drop off the list if they aren't read. I haven't figured out the rules—they seem to be different for every blog—but I worry about the posts that have disappeared. Somewhere around 500 unread posts, I feel an urgent need to catch up. I clear some time, and start reading as fast as I can. About then, several of my favorite bloggers go on a posting frenzy. Even swimming upstream as fast as I can, the current rushes me down the river. Something has to give. I don't want to abandon my favorite bloggers, but I can't read the entire Internet, or even keep up with the parts I find interesting. I even forget which blogs I love to read, and which I have lost interest in.

I spent nearly all my free time for the past two weeks reading and thinning my blogs. I was far enough behind that a representative sample of posts had accumulated on nearly all of them. If that sample didn't enrich my life, I unsubscribed. If there were fewer posts I liked than didn't, poof! If one post really irked me, bye-bye! As much as I may have enjoyed each and every blog, I had to cut somewhere. When I was finished, I had cut my subscription list nearly in half, to 108. Some of that number were abandoned by their writers months ago. Some writers post rather infrequently. Some have not posted in so long, I'm waiting to see whether they have abandoned their blogs. So I have a relatively manageable number of regular posters whose posts I really enjoy. That means I won't put off reading blogs because I dread the backlog. Over time, I may trim the list further. In the process of all this reading, I found several new blogs that look quite promising. Oh, the temptation!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Apples and Autobots said...

Did I survive your cuts? I hope so! This does make me feel better about not posting as often as everyone else! From now on I'll think of how I'm cutting down on your reading stress by NOT posting! LOL

February 24, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Life as the mother of 4 said...

I have the same problem with newspapers. I cannot recycle it until I've read it. I'm over half a week behind right now.

February 24, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Yes, you did. And now that I've thinned out the list, I'll get to read yours sooner.

February 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Arby said...

I'm glad I made the cut! I subscribe to a lot of blogs and only regularly read a few of them. I know that if I read and commented more my number of followers would rise, but I have these three pesky children who expect to be fed. And loved! Who knew? There isn't much time left for blogs.

February 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

Oh..I know I know..I too am trying to catch up. I have such blog envy-there are people who find the time to post every day..and I feel some how like a failure because I just can't..and then trying to keep up with them all...sigh..

February 25, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
OpenID hatesocks said...

Oh my gosh. This is hilarious. I am absolutley like that. It takes me forever and sometimes is the first thing I think about in the morning. How sad is that???

February 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM  
OpenID lexilooblog said...

Haha. Obviously I'm behind on blogs, too, which is why I'm just commenting now.

I also hate to mark as read...there was one time I hadn't been on the internet in probably a month, and I marked my 1000+ entries as read. And I missed that someone's child had died. Sounds like horrible voyeurism, but it was somebody I interacted with regularly.

This makes me feel better about being too busy to post in awhile...I'm not clogging your stream! :-)

February 28, 2011 at 5:53 AM  

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