For me, it all started with work. I have to know things. It is part of my job to find the ridiculous -- to collect, catalog, and comment on the outlandish and strange information out there. So I started with the gateway drug: bookmarks. I began manually bookmarking every interesting link I found, and at first, I sorted through them every single week. All was right with the world.
But then saving useful links wasn't enough anymore.
Maybe I should expand my focus beyond interesting scientific studies and pop culture theories, I thought. Maybe I can use these badass random images in my columns. Maybe I can find a use for this crazy Chinese shovel that can do everything. Maybe I can somehow pair it with this Chinese man crashing his scooter like 18 times. Maybe there's a link there that I can't see right now -- better save both, just to be sure.
Soon there were too many links to sort through every week, and after several months of buildup, I deleted that folder entirely. Not because I knew I had a problem, but because there were better ways to hoard links. I didn't notice I was smoking too much weed and decided to take a break; I noticed I was smoking too much weed and figured out that heroin would be more efficient.
I began downloading apps. I installed Instapaper and Dropbox, started using the "save" feature on Reddit. And let me tell you, brother, it is great!
Now I never have to read anything ever again.
Instead of clicking links, perusing their content, and then collecting that knowledge in my head, I now collect it on an external service just in case I want it later (spoiler: I apparently do not!). It's like building a library so you have somewhere to store the unread books that keep piling up on your nightstand.