Is Social Media Ruining Reading?

Zite has changed how I find content. It’s brought me reams of articles that fit my interests. Music, tech and social media stories fill my iPad. If there’s one I don’t like I’ll let the app know and I’ll probably never see anything like it again. Tech has made the search for knowledge easier.

But I fear Social Media has damaged why I click ‘read more’. I find I’m reading something only because I’m assessing whether my followers will find it interesting.

Whilst digesting an article another cog in my brain is getting a flavor for whether it’s:

  1. Suitable for Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn?
  2. Going to gather enough likes or comments to warrant sharing?
  3. Old news?

Posting old news is the biggest sin. Why? Because people are so keen to point out that you’ve missed the ride on the meme bus. The smug action of taking the time to comment publicly that someone has shared something that was popular last month is a strange impulse. Not everyone has the time to leisurely peruse through twitter trends, let alone the time to proudly inform me you’ve seen it many times before.

Perhaps it’s time to embargo myself from pressing the blue social media icons and start enjoying what people write and keep it all for myself.

I wont though. I’m not a selfish person – and sharing is caring. Not only am I helping others learn, sharing is also my way of helping to reward the author. Although being paid for writing is undoubtedly great, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your words go a little bit viral.

So what will make it all better? I’m going to read for myself first and then think about others later. If it’s good enough for me, then I’m confident it’s going to be good enough for you.