There Are Several Reasons Not To Read This Post
Today, you are probably busy. Yesterday, you may have been less busy (or more busy), so there is that small dose of variety to liven up your week but in any case — you have things to do. You do not have time to be told what to think.
Perhaps you’ve been occupied reading about the seven reasons for middle-aged hair loss, or the three ways to make better use of your time at work. Probably you’re waiting to see which of the blogs in your news feed will publish the next great essay on the trials and triumphs of humanity, which website will give you the best deal on the latest gadgets, which piece of self-help advice is best suited to your plan to become less busy, more productive, more efficient, less stressed.
Why would you read anything new? New is almost always unpredictable, uncertain, risky — unless planned for, and planning takes time. Your time is precious; think carefully before spending it on a random headline, an eye-catching lead image, a smart avatar.
Think about this: you know what happens when you dive into randomly selected internet content without due care and attention. First you over-commit, browsing endlessly, then you fall into the cycle of over-analysis: should you comment on the post, should you like the post, should you re-read? This is true for this post, for any post — the experience can be stressful, and that’s just the start.
Here are some more reasons to not read on.
You have no particular connection with the author. I could be anyone. Why should you dive into the written record of the thoughts of a person you’ve never met, never had contact with, never considered? This post (any post) could re-contextualise your thoughts on any topic, leaving you with some significant self-reflection work to do when you might already prefer to cook a meal, or watch TV. When you read, you should learn (or feel rested); can you guarantee to yourself that this post will support you in those experiences? You have commitments already: keep your priorities straight! Give yourself time off from your busy browsing routine, take a break. Stop reading. Go away.
We have so many opportunities nowadays to engage with the thoughts, creative expressions, views, and attitudes of so many people. Don’t rush in: consider the process that you use to engage with the strangers that you can nowadays encounter directly and personally, in writing or otherwise. Use your time, and your attention, wisely: in the information age, it’s easy to over-commit.
When we take on too much information, that information stops being information and turns into a complex, self-defeating mess instead. That mess, which we carry with us until we have time to unwind and let go, can be the cause of real stress and a real sense of burden. Try to avoid this, try to be kind to yourself: you are not responsible for the 24/7 conversation the world is nowadays having, and you do not have to engage.
And if you do choose to jump in, remember: look for the rewards in your own experience. At the very least, a post should not require you to think for it; any content, written or otherwise, should leave you with a useful conclusion as it ends.