Monday, July 13, 2009

Mark All As Read

Back in the day, when I was a paperboy for the Waterloo Courier, people who went on vacation would have two options. Temporarily cancel their subscription until they returned from their trip...or, place a "hold" on their subscription. Holding meant that I had the opportunity to stack the customer's newspapers in my parent's garage until they returned. Once the customer was back in town I would deliver this large pile of papers to the subscriber's house where, I assume, they poured over the news of the days they were on vacation.

This never made sense to me as a kid. What's the point of reading old news?

Fast forward 18 years. I just got back from a week of vacation. Upon opening my Google Reader, I discovered 1000+ articles that were unread. I started skimming through the articles to see what all had happened in the world since I had unplugged. After spending 30 minutes, and barely making a dent, I did something I've never done before.

I clicked the "Mark All As Read" button.

I have spent most of the day since then wondering what I had deleted. What free youth ministry resource did I miss out on...what life-changing sermon did I neglect to read...what amazing application for Mac or Blackberry was left undownloaded?

Then it hit me.

I've become a "put-the-newspaper-on-hold" guy. And it drove me nuts to temporarily cancel my subscription (a.k.a removing these articles from me rss feed reader).

It turns out, I'm more intrigued by old news than I thought I would be. Maybe I'm just nosey...or I have an insatiable quest for knowledge...or, perhaps, I just like being in the know.

All that said, judging by the level of consternation I experienced today, I will probably not be hitting "Mark All As Read" any time soon.

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