Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sucked in Again

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve gathered by now that I’m an avid reader. Novels are reserved for evening reading, and the rest of the time, you can find me reading emails on a variety of topics.  Yes, like many of you, my day is consumed with conference calls and emails from work team mates, but mixed in with those are a variety of financial, leadership and communications newsletters I’ve signed up to receive. Add to that my surfing of CNBC and the WSJ online each morning, and it’s easy to see that I’m absorbing lots of information throughout the day.  How much of it I retain is a topic for another time.

But here’s the deal: one thing leads to another when you’re reading online. I received a financial blog the other day titled Money and Yoga, an intriguing title to me because I’ve been taking a weekly yoga class for ten years.  Of course, I had to click on the link to the WSJ article that had inspired this blog, an article which contained a link to another article titled 22 Things You Should Never Do Again After 50, which in turn had links to several similarly titled articles like Things You Should Never Wear Again.
And there I was, sucked in again.  My first mental image was of a mini-me being sucked head-first into the computer screen and then happily traipsing around from website to website. Next, I pictured Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, but that image didn’t hold up because poor Alice takes no detours on the way down; she just lands at the bottom and finds herself in Wonderland.  Then again, Wonderland might be an apt name for the Internet.  But I digress.
Does this happen to you?  You decide to check your email just before you start dinner, and you look up to find that you’ve spent an hour or two wandering the Internet?  It happens to me all too often.  I forward a business newsletter to my home PC for leisurely reading, and when I check it out that evening, I get sucked into all the links it contains, or  I get an email from Amazon or Barnes & Noble suggesting several books to read, and before I know it, I’ve visited Goodreads and Stop You’re Killing Me! for more information. Then, I see a few more books that sound intriguing, and on it goes.
Sometimes, I feel as though I need breadcrumbs to find my way back to where I started.  I guess that’s what the back arrow is really for. Occasionally, I’m smart enough to save the intriguing links to visit later. Somehow I know, though, that no matter how many I save, I’ll never get back to them all.  It seems that Frank Zappa’s quote about books could be applied to links as well: 
So many links, so little time