I’ve made some changes to how I read stuff online lately — mostly but not only as a consequence of looking for a replacement for Google Reader. I’m dumping more stuff out of my feed reader and into instapaper for later reading — and as a result I’m, acting on less stuff — i.e., I’m more likely to read and archive a given post without doing anything further, like tweeting about it or posting about it on Tumblr.
This has created some discomfort for me, because I feel weird any time I interact with something (photo, text, whatever) that’s interesting or important, without making some kind of trace. (Examples: tweet post to tumblr or a blog, save to pinboard, save to instapaper, etc.)
And the reason I feel weird about that is that — I realize now — interacting with something and making no trace is in my head tantamount to intending to forget it.
My next thought was: Man, the internet has done a number on me. But that’s not really true. Well, it’s definitely true, but it’s not applicable here, because I’m the same way with books: I aggressively annotate (dogear, underline, highlight, write in) any books I read which I anticipate using later for something. And I’ve been doing that since at least high school, before the internet had a chance to do much to change how I think. It’s just the way I interact with technologies (old or new) that supplement memory.