I can remember when internet content presented itself to me as an unexpected bounty of thoughtful essays, articles, and shorter form stuff. There was a time when I read every single post at National Review’s The Corner (a blog started early in the last decade) and regularly checked in on the Instapundit. But it is possible to get too much of anything. And that is what has happened to me with internet media.
As I sit staring at a monitor and clicking away, I can feel time slipping away and my attention becoming less and less focused as I browse, browse, browse hopping quickly from place to place with one part of my conscious mind trying to generate ideas for the next skip.
Confronted with this sense of things more frequently, lately, I found myself suddenly vulnerable to an offer from Time which I would normally throw away. A year’s worth of Time (weekly!) for about $20. My typical reaction would be, “Great! The doctor’s office can have it.” But not on this occasion. Instead, I thought about how nice might it be to have one magazine broadly covering the news. I can easily take it to bed (or to the bathroom . . .), read through the articles, and feel like a reasonably informed person. It helped that I’d recently been on a radio show where the host stumped me by asking a question about the START treaty. My clicking had deftly avoided it. If I were to read Time, cover to cover, a small embarrassment of the sort would be less likely to happen.
So, now, I am two issues into the subscription. I don’t get up-to-the-second information, but I do get a publication of manageable size (rather than the near infinity of the net) and the coverage is comprehensive enough.
As far as one of the reasons I’d stopped reading magazines like Time, such as my perception of harsh media bias, I can report I have read little to put me on the defensive or to feel as though my point of view is being treated unfairly. Indeed, the only thing objectionable about these two issues has been an ad on the rear cover for the atheist version of The 700 Club, which is also known as Real Time with Bill Maher. There may be a reason Time has survived the black hole of failure that took hold of Newsweek.
To this point, I have to say the experiment is a success. If you are suffering with the sensation your soul is being sucked slowly into the machine, I recommend you give it a try.