The Endless Scroll

Facebook may have started it, or Reddit, or Tumblr, or Twitter, or some other website I can’t think of, but the endless scroll has become part of a lot of people’s lives. Years ago I used to be on Tumblr but I would waste hours upon hours endlessly scrolling down. I got off of the site because I realized I’d been wasting so much time. I congratulated myself on getting away from the time pit that was Tumblr, but I’ve realized that I’m still doing it. Nowadays I endlessly scroll on Facebook, which is so much worse than Tumblr because it doesn’t have awesome fanart or hilarious stories.

Why is our society so obsessed with these sites of endless scrolling? Why can’t we stop?

With sites that have endless scrolling they’re typically time drains. I know I’ve spent way too much time on Facebook. I can’t imagine what my time would be like if I were on Reddit (like my boyfriend who is currently endlessly scrolling down a thread with quotes–he’s supposed to be writing a speech).

There is way too much data out there for the endless scroll to be worth it. How likely is it that you’ll find something of value while scrolling on Twitter or Facebook? Not that likely, at least from my experience. I also use Pinterest from time to time but I easily get sucked in and have recognized that, therefore I don’t really use it as much. Yet, I still fall into the lure of the stupid Facebook scroll. And why? Why do we do this?

I found this article and it has some pretty interesting points:

What’s sad though is I’ve become so used to scrolling that I simply scrolled through this article and looked a few points within some of the paragraphs. The bold statements, the things that may have popped out when I paused to skim, etc. I feel that the endless scrolling has permeated into the way we read online. It definitely has for me. If I want to really read an article, I usually have to print it out. Otherwise I find myself scrolling and skimming more than actually reading it. I don’t really have the data to back up that accusation but I do think the endless scroll has had an effect.

I’d like to say that I’ll stop with the endless scroll, but I doubt it. There’s something that draws you in with the ability to keep going. I think it has something to do with the fact that there is a possibility that you’ll find something great if you just keep scrolling. It’s a vicious cycle. I think having access to these sites on cell phones makes it worse. It’s too easy to get on these sites and scroll. And for what? We could be using that time to do something that’s worthwhile–like reading a book, spending time with loved ones, or learning something new.

What do you think of the endless scroll? Do you think it has had an effect on the way you read online like I believe it has for me? Let me know!


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