You’re perhaps familiar with the saying, “His eyes are bigger than his stomach” – you know, when someone loads their plate with more than they can eat.
My eyes are bigger than my brain. (Boy, that sounds creepy.) If something has words on it that I find even remotely interesting, I feel compelled to squirrel it away for reading later. I’m convinced that I can’t live without whatever information it contains, so I can’t throw it away.
The Internet aggravates this, because it’s almost all words; and the technology I use to navigate it enables me to squirrel away whole books’ worth of material with the click of an “Add to bookmarks” button. RSS feeds are even worse. Yes, please channel your never-ending river of articles and updates into my reader! I’ll make time for it!
The result is information overload. That, and a Bookmarks folder so full of bookmarks, and subfolders that I create to organize them (because I’m also addicted to categorizing things), that I can’t easily find what I need. So I take the frequently-used bookmarks and put them at the top, and the rest forms this dark underworld of links to sites that I rarely if ever visit, but I can’t bear to get rid of.
Enter Ma.gnolia, a social bookmarking site to rival de.licio.us. (Why don’t I use de.licio.us? Mostly because the name irritates the hell out of me. There’s the “delicious” part, and then there’s all the periods. Feh.) I’ve been transferring the bookmarks I don’t use all that often to Ma.gnolia, and trying to make myself use the site to bookmark as many newly-discovered pages as possible.
But how often do I use Ma.gnolia to refer to my stored bookmarks? Well…a little. But not that often.
Really, it’s a way of tricking my obsessive self into thinking that I’m doing something other than throwing those bookmarks away. “No, no,” I tell myself soothingly, “I’m sending them to a place where they won’t be confined in dark, airless little subfolders. A place there they’ll be even better organized. A place with tags.“
Hooray for using technology to solve problems caused by the same technology!