Digital Anxieties

I subscribed to too many RSS feeds, I want to keep up with every single one of them but I simply cannot read fast enough. My substandard monkey mind simply cannot keep up with my furious appetite for ‘stuff’. I had over 750 feeds that I’ve built up over about 3 years. I simply cannot absorb all of the wonderful bits of knowledge, opinion and information that people have made available for me to roll around in. So, a couple of weeks ago I tagged all of the ones I really love with ‘Can’t Miss’. And I was able to read all of them and totally feel up-to-date with the things I was interested in. So then, why have all of the other 600 feeds that I simply cannot keep on top of? So I deleted all of those and now I am at one with my feeds.

I have about 1,500 bookmarks (I have probably only re-visited 10% of them) but you never know when I might need them. I’m a total hoarder of information and is my way of outsourcing my memory for links. I am a link hoarder.

In this age of the attention economy, how are you managing your digital anxiety? Do you even have any kind of digital anxiety? How have you over-come them? Or do you have a real life?

8 responses to “Digital Anxieties

  1. I have succumbed to Google. That way my mail, feed reader and docs (if I need them) are all in one place, I feel cheap and dirty but hey, apart from the crap UI the service is good.

  2. Yeah, me too. Once you get sucked in to using the email you end up loving their Docs and charts, their reader and all their other crap.

  3. coristankowicz

    I rely on Google as well – primarily for news feeds. I feel that have grown so emotionally attached to email and rely so much on the web for basically everything, I am actually scared to make the jump into sites like and bloglines. However, looking at the lists of bookmarked blogs that I frequent regularly, they would probably save this girl a lot of time : )

  4. I’ve been using NetNewsWire ( which is nice unless you are on public computers.

    Also, for sharing links, I just heard about mento ( for sharing links. Looks like it has some good potential being able to share links with people. I signed up to get an invitation.

  5. ha – just realized i said sharing links twice in the second paragraph. apparently i’m very excited about it.

  6. I appreciate being able to find information when I want it – or even better, organized libraries of information, such as that info design patterns link just posted. Otherwise I don’t care much. A couple of you probably remember my mini-rant about “I don’t want to be present!” on social networking sites. I’m happier as an outsider than an insider, so long as I have a few friends out there with me. I’m a digital curmudgeon.

    My background and enduring interest is the “humanities” – literature, art, essays, etc. Remember one of those primitive IA graphics (many permutations) that show the supposed evolution of data > information > knowledge > wisdom? Aside from the comedy of representing wisdom in a chart, the underlying idea appeals to me. I’m usually eager to leave my info architect mind behind when I leave work. I enjoy the day-to-day challenge of being analytically & aesthetically inventive (in minor ways, let’s not exaggerate) – but once I leave the office I’m like a kid out of school, listening to music, talking about books, eating out with friends. I’m still starry-eyed over the internet because it represents not only undiscovered resources, but an infinity of interesting connections that keep my brain buzzing in completely self-indulgent ways.

  7. I’ve always thought it amusing that without electricity what we produce is virtual, it is not real. The great thing about the internet is the emergence of understanding, or knowledge, around areas.

    Its the Noosphere –

    That for me is also the really amazing thing – its a connected consciousness I suppose

  8. Jim, I reckon you’ve just been doing it for too long 😉

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