I read an article recently that stated that due to the amount of news readily available at our fingertips everyday we should start skimming stories to read more of them in the same limited time that we always had available. I disagree with this viewpoint, wholeheartedly. The problem with skimming is that you’re going to miss a lot of the information in the article you’re reading. You’ll be reading less overall than you would if you would take the time to read the entire article in the first place. In fact, I would say the news articles themselves could and should be shorter. Having a shorter new story allows you to read it before your attention wanders elsewhere and you’ll be reading the entire article. Or at the very least the layout can change.
This the technological age, and the news needs to reflect that. We can already completely customize our news feeds, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, ADN feeds, et, al. Though that’s as far as we’ve come in this new age, for the most part. Some magazines have made the transition flawlessly, The Loop Insight being one of them. There is a minimum and a maximum length to the articles in the magazine, but it’s also laid out in such a way that makes it quite easy and intuitive to read. There are breaks in all the right places; links, photos, videos, placed precisely where they should be rather than on a different page. There is no more flipping to this page or that page to finish the article, it’s all right there on one page.I mean, do we really need to be skimming over the information we deem important enough to curate in our daily streams? Or should we be more concerned about to read and retain maximum information in a limited time. This is the key to memorization, they teach it in public schools, at least where I’m from, so that should say something at least. Shorter articles in a more natural and rational layout should be the focus. Pocket is a great tool, but think of the possibilities if it flowed like The Loop Insight magazine with the same length restrictions. All in one place. No more perusing the vastness of the internet to go to this site, that site, this social network, and that social network. Think if it was all curated right there in an app like Pocket, everyday.
I don’t think reading our news stories will ever be ideal though. The media takes too long to catch up to the people. By the time they catch up the people have already moved on. Netflix and Hulu were early on with TV show streaming. They are with the people from the earliest stages because they understand where the people are moving. Soon there will be an exponential growth in the number of cord cutters and news streamers. An age of technology on the move, more news at the ready, more TV and movies ready when you want them. Then services like Lyft and Uber ready to pick you up from wherever you are whenever you need to be picked up.
It’s not time to skim, it’s time to trim. Trim out all the news sources that haven’t advanced to the minimalist article like the people are shifting to. It’s time to get to the point, retain the point, and move on. The technological age is streamlined and there are just too many potholes and construction zones in the way. There is a new route, a faster route, and it’s time for the media to catch up and streamline with the people.