In the same way normal people probably ask if you’ve read a book or a magazine, I often find myself asking friends “Did you read the internet today?” Now, this is not to be confused with asking if they've seen particularly viral portions of the internet, i.e. “Did you see 64 Cats Who Just Can’t Cat Anymore?” I am usually referring to the internet in its entirety. And after witnessing the absolute frenzy when Google shut down its RSS feed, Google Reader, I don't think it's an unfair assumption. People need their fill of internet and they need it in one central location for maximum enjoyment. And it's unclear if anyone exhibits any kind of maximum capacity for the endless fount of information.
So here I am suggesting that if you've been slacking on your required reading (you're here, so you're doing well so far!), Pocket might help matters. Formerly called Read It Later—a more descriptive, but definitely less endearing name—lets you easily bookmark any page within the series of interconnected tubes we call the internet so you can do just that: read it later. The app—I use it in Chrome, but it's just as functional on your phone or tablet—is clean and organized, as if all those magazine clippings from your youth suddenly found their way into plastic page-protectors, catalogued by date, title, and usefulness to you. Simply add the Pocket button to your browser and anytime you're on an article that seems like it might be of some interest, but now is neither the time nor the place, click the button and the article will immediately download on any device connected to your account for easy, offline reading—so on a plane, train, or Time Warner-monopolized location. The article view is clean and unfussy (adjustable serif font on a white background) which makes it worlds easier to focus while reading thousands of words on a bright screen without going blind.
If all that isn’t making me smarter (which I think it is, for the record), it certainly helps in making me sound smarter. Potentially even a little snobbish—especially because of Pocket's easy "Send to a Friend" feature, where I can share any particularly impressive articles I've been
skimming reading with any friend with a Pocket account. Then they're free to be impressed by my worldliness/send a rebuttal article. Think of it like book club, with substantially less effort.