I batch. Or try to. Batching is how I cope with the gluttony of things I do on the Internet.
I batch my email, sorting it by conversations. I batch my RSS feeds into categories like a newspaper, e.g. Tech, Opinions, etc. I batch my Tweeps into lists. Podcasts help batch the news and make it more easily digestible.
On top of batching things into lists, I also try to batch time. The Internet can be a time-suck if you don’t focus your use. I try to allocate time for email, reading articles saved to my Instapaper, and social networking. Life hacker Timothy Ferris says that he completely unplugs by 7pm. That’s a reach for me although I’ve been more conscious of time-wasting and deliberately disconnect even in those moments in between waiting in line, and especially when I’m with my dog and my wife. Presence and boredom are scarce, and therefore ever more vital.
The Internet never ends. Its infinite updates ensure that there’s always another Instagram image or tweet to check. Marketers add to the distraction by creating snackable content that makes your mind bloated with cat GIFS.
It’s easy to get trapped in the maze of viral content. Batching stuff into digestible formats is the only to reduce the anxiety of consuming all the feeds.
All in all, batching helps because it creates a condensed version of the Internet. It gives the user back a sense of control.