Friday, June 13, 2008

I am afraid of my Google Reader

I have it on my igoogle home page. It waits there for me to click it, glaring at me disapprovingly while the parenthetical counter ticks ever up.

I loved it at first. A great way to stay on top of my blog reading, I thought. Oh look! What a good little reader you are! It counts how many new posts have popped up! Good reader. Good good reader.

The first time I used it, I relished marking the new posts off as read. It gave me a sense of accomplishment seeing the number of new posts click down from 50 to 0. I was so proud of myself. But then the next morning, the counter would be back up to 50 again and I would feverishly be trying to catch up. A few hours later, it was as if I had read nothing. I was making no headway. At one point, I was off my computer for a whole day and that night after class, I came back to a counter that read 124 new posts! No longer is Google Reader my friend. No - we are now sworn enemies. We do battle daily and nightly, and it always wins.

But how can I let an inanimate computer program get the better of me? Because I am weak and it is technologically advanced. And it kicks my ass every single day. I feverishly click through all my posts and read as much as I can, trying to desperately keep that counter at (0), but to no avail! When I get it to (0), it lasts about 15 minutes before someone is posting again and ruining my nothingness. And I'm beginning to resent prolific posters. Some blogs seem to post every few minutes. And I think to myself, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! HOW MUCH DO YOU ACTUALLY REALLY HAVE TO SAY OF INTEREST?!!! But they are interesting and I must read the posts, of course. Can't not read the posts. Have to read the posts. I'm like a clicking junkie fiend. Give me another hit baby, just another hit...

Perhaps I have too many blogs to read. It's true I have added more than I used to read in the past, but they are all so good! And then everytime someone new visits my blog, I have to follow them home. Like Mary's little lamb, following it home. And there it is... another interesting blog to read. The junkie wants more. Give me more! Find me more! But I can't handle more!!!! I think I need an intervention, or a good ass whooping.

I live in terror of Google Reader. I get nervous, my hands shake and my palms start to sweat as I wait for my homepage to load up in the morning. The question isn't will it be high, the question is how high. And I am scared. Very scared. I now have nightmares. I dream I am in a padded room of all white. The walls around me are covered with gigantice Google Reader pages. The counter keeps clicking ever higher. Past 100, then 500, up and up until the zeros overrun the pages and I shriek in hysteria as the numbers start spinning faster and faster, higher and higher. And I wake up in a cold sweat and slap Da Man in the head to orient myself. He gets up and screams at me, "WTF is wrong with you!" This immediately makes me feel better and I can go back to sleep. But I can't keep slapping him in the head every night even though it hurts my hand more than it hurts his head. He keeps threatening to have me arrested for spousal abuse. My defense would be that Google Reader made me do it.

Perhaps someone can explain what it is I am doing wrong. Perhaps someone can tell me their method of keeping Reader in check. Perhaps someone will get me a prescription of Xanax and a couple of beers and sing me some Marley. Or perhaps Google Reader and me are just not meant to be.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm . . . read 30 posts OR read 20 posts and comment on 2 OR read 10 posts and comment on 4.

I think that each of those equals 1page of your pending novel.

So less reading (and slapping) and more writing, Ello!

Da' Man

cindy said...

i tried to do the google reader thing but for the life of me, i couldn't understand how it worked. HAHA! i'm so sad and tech challenged! it's probably better i stick with my links list and remain oblivious to these reading advances. ;*)

blogless troll said...

Whatever you do, never, EVER, click on Top Recommendations. It tricked me into doing that once, and then it showed me a bunch of blogs it thought I would like, and I did like them, so I had to subscribe to them, and now... just don't do it. Okay? Trust me. I think it feeds on unread posts.

blogless troll said...

By the way, I was below 100 for the first time in weeks until YOU posted. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

spyscribbler said...

When you get overwhelmed, click "All items." Then you can either scroll down really, really fast ...

Or you can hit the little "Mark all as read" above the posts. Then it's all zero.

And ... take it off your iGoogle page, and read it at Google Reader. And only let yourself sign in once a day. Okay, no more than twice. Maximum is THREE!

The trick is not to look. :-)

JaneyV said...

I just don' subscribe to that many .... yet.

I think you're right though - as soon as you find one and add it - you are doomed to being interested.

I think if I subscribed to as many as you - my kids would never be fed and nothing would ever get done. I haven't looked at my WIP in so long I can't remember what I called it. You are lesson for me ... stay away from the igoogle dark side......
Just keep visiting me - I'm not so prolific!

Kathi430 said...

*laugh*

Listen to Da Man ... if it's a choice between blogs and books (namely YOUR books) you have to take a step back.

Kathi - who is reading your blog instead of finishing her last ten pages.

Vesper said...

Google reader? - what is that?!
I understand, Ello, there are so many interesting things to read out there.
Just use your bookmarks and visit a few blogs every day, then a few more the next day, and so on.
My time for reading and especially for writing is incredibly limited and I suffer enormously because of this. My problem with these so many interesting and beautifully written blogs is that I don't just read them very quickly and move on. I stop, and ponder, and ponder a bit more on the comment I want to make, and read again, and so I spend too much time really...
It's not good... :-)

I totally agree with Da'Man!

laughingwolf said...

never used it, never will... simple! lol

i visit some sites more than others, cuz there's NO way i can keep up to it all

i spend too much time online as it is

as soon as my new software gets here, i'll spend time learning it, so that'll reduce net time nicely

i also have a wacom graphics tablet to master....

Sustenance Scout said...

Catching up on YOUR latest posts and laughing all the way, Ello. I don't use the reader; I'm compulsive enough as it is! TGIF, K.

Whirlochre said...

Anaesthetise the stimulus.

Precie said...

Another GR victim here!

BT is absolutely right. Never click on Recommendations.

Sarah Hina said...

We'll still love you, Ello, even if you cold turkey. ;)

I don't know how you keep up. I visit about 15-20 blogs, and it's all I can do...

"No Woman No Cry"...

;)

strugglingwriter said...

I stopped using my feedreader for this exact reason. I would have to say the key is to limit what you subscribe to, if only for your sanity :)

moonrat said...

oh GOD. dont even get me STARTED.

The Anti-Wife said...

Stop posting funny and intelligent things then no one will read your blog. That way you won't have new blogs to add to your reader and you and Da' Man can get some sleep.

Aerin said...

I wuv my Google Reader. My 300 posts a day come from BBC & NPR & Feministing.com, as well as my 52 (yep, 52) blog-buddy blogs (okay, some of them are blog stalkees, but I'm a fairly nice stalker. Mostly.)

Oh, and I can has cheezburger. It makes the Google Reader totally worth it.

You can hire me as your GR Taster, Ello. I'll only pass on the ones that are really really good.

Larramie said...

Just remind yourself, Ello, that you have the right to choose and forget the technological wizardry!

Bernita said...

Oh, Ello!
Am laughing too hard to type anything more...

Colorado Writer said...

You probably better not do Jacketflap, then. I'll log on and have 222 new posts to read.

(Jacketflap is for children's lit, if you didn't know.)

Melissa Marsh said...

I tried the google reader, too, and HATED it. I'd much rather do it the old-fashioned way and click on each blog every day.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm with Anti-wife: stop posting clever stuff and you'll be doing your bit to free up google space!

How's this for pathetic: I only heard of Google reader a few weeks ago. Someone in my writing group alluded to it. I thought 'What?' but did not ask. It's bad enough as it is. I don't do Facebook either. I suspect if I did, I might never emerge from my computer. My glasses would need to be coke-bottle thick. My kids would stop calling me 'mom.'

Go easy on hitting your husband's head. It's a known fact that their heads are harder -- all that extra calcium and such. Plus, the male stubborn thing. You could seriously mess up your typing hands!

Lana Gramlich said...

I've only started using Google Reader in the last couple of weeks. It's saved me HOURS of time. It used to take me at least 4 hours per day to go through my blogroll, to find that in most instances, there were few updates. Google Reader saved my sanity!
Keep in mind that out of that "50," at least some of the posts are all from a single person. Some people seem to post 10 things a day. Personally, I won't read that much. Maybe a post or two, but not all 10.

Patti said...

i loved my google reader at first too...now it mocks me.

every. damn. day.

Travis Erwin said...

I sort of feel the same but I think the only thing that has really changed is that I now know the number of blogs I haven't read where in the past I had to click through one a t a time. Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

Robin S. said...

I think we all have to slow down on thsi blog thing. I know I just started my own, but I really think we have to watch it.

50 to read is too many- it's a freakin' job!

Just come see me once a week. That's enough - I promise I won't be offended!

Kappa no He said...

Yowch. It isn't fair. It just isn't fair.

Chumplet said...

I just receive notices of posts on my own blog. If I used Google Reader I'd go bonkers.

Therefore I wander aimlessly through blogland, commenting hither and thither and never the twain shall meet....

I think I need some sleep.

Barrie said...

My google reader is taking over the world too! We'd make sure mine doesn't meet yours. Who knows what they'd cook up?!

petite fleur said...

I don't use Google Reader but Bloglines & have the same struggle too. I hate it when I come back from a vacation & feels overwhelmed by the 400+ posts that I have to read. Urrgh. So do tell me if you manage to find a solution.

Random Thinker said...

WOW! I dont blame you that must be SO frustrating, fortunately I havent got a Google Reader yet, thankyou for the warning!!!
P.S: I LOVE your blog!