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How Reading Affects your Internet IQ

Consuming Digital Content Mindfully

by Eliece Hammond


Comprehensive reading is important to understanding the climate of your community on multiple levels, both on and offline.  Effective use of social media tools and apps to filter and target content on the internet can mediate information overload.  Additionally, spending quality time reviewing and responding to the information in front of us — and not passing over key content — is also essential.


Here are some activities for monitoring and responding to information online:


-Think about “thinking” – develop a filtering strategy that automates the collection of the information you know you want. Try subscribing to the RSS feeds of your favorite websites and blogs on Google Reader or collecting favorite links in specific folders on your browser to drill down on a specific subject. A great metacognitive strategy will help you control when and where you access specific information, and will have an impact on your interaction with the content provided.

-Before you start reviewing your RSS feeds, social media accounts, and links, take a moment to mentally clarify your purpose for reviewing the information. Are you getting to know a new subject, keeping up with the climate of an industry online, joining a community of like-minded individuals, or reaching out to potential customers?

-While you are reading a blog, reviewing Facebook updates, running through your twitter feed, checking out links:  pay attention, take the time to review posts and comments as well as other related article links, mull over new concepts and consider reposting, retweeting, or reviewing content for your own blog or newsfeed. Critically understanding content in a specific industry or topic area and properly relaying this information can make you a thought leader and expert online.

-This is a continuous process, requiring readjustment at many intervals. Filtered information can create a natural bias for the reader. Creating a collection of links, feeds, and accounts and curating that list to the highest quality sources of information online is an ongoing process. One easy way to continuously improve your information input is to review recommended pages on an RSS Feed collection like Google Reader or under your “Favorites” heading on various browsers. With regard to browsers, this is usually a function that can be turned on as a set of recommended sites.


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