This post is an experiment. I was thinking about how I tend to avoid reading a lot of longform content on my phone. I tend to push off a lot of news (NYT), some RSS, and tech articles. Longreads feel longer when scrolling one paragraph at a time interrupted by ads every other paragraph. I started to wonder if content hasn’t fully adapted to the mobilepocalypse.
Then I thought about how my blog posts tend to get a little long. I try to edit them but lack the self-control. I wonder if my phone could act as a natural constraint, the amount I can withstand typing and editing on my phone roughly correlates to how much I’d actually want to read on my phone.
As far as proxies go, it seems decent but something feels… phony. Excuse the pun, but it feels like I’m getting closer to the end of the page with every line wrap —as text bumps into the virtual keyboard— and I feel pressured to extract some grand conclusion. I’m not sure it’ll happen however.
It could be the triteness of this experiment. This feels much more like a creative writing exercise I’m subjecting you to than a valuable thinkpiece I’m offering.
It could be my own antiquated notion that length equals importance. Feels like my whole academic life was primarily about adding page after page of unnecessary garbage to hit some quota.
It could be the form factor and that perhaps deep down I believe “mobile” only produces cheap junior versions of real things (video games, music, photography, etc). It’s not for works of art, it’s for short, disposable things. This is the Quibi of blogging.
As I wrap this up, I’m cynical but still curious. I think this little experiment is asking me to cast away the mental schema of a blog post that I’ve built up in my head over the last couple decades. That will take time and I would like to try it again with a less self-referential topic.