How to cheat yourself into reading long text

I’ve been into Reddit the last few weeks (Maybe just one week)

I am into the reddit itself, but I think Indonesia’s government have problem with reddit

I can’t access reddit because my government blocked it, I have to use vpn which I don’t have one (Except free ones, I am concern with my privacy)

So, what I do? Well, if I can’t read reddit directly, I can still read the YouTube vid about reddit

Which btw, I just realized, PewDiePie‘s videos is basically just that, reddit-tube? redt… oh wait…

But in all seriousness, I understand why Indonesia blocked reddit, yeah it have a lot of good content, such as something so profound that it change your way of thinking

But it also has plenty of so called ‘dark side’, there’s plenty of ‘mystery’ in reddit that young children shouldn’t read

Now I think about it, why do they treat us like children?

But that’s besides the point, (All the paragraphs above actually also besides the point). The point that I wanna talk about here is…

How to cheat yourself into reading long text

That my friend, is a really great title. I initially titled this post A way around for reading long text, but I guess I will change it

… Done

The concept I apply here, to my surprise is the same concept that I apply to my writing style (Yeah, I just realized it just now)

It’s kinda a weird think that I realize myself

Whenever I browse the internet, sometimes I don’t mind reading a long article, while other times I just f off as fast as I can

Factor that (I think) take part here include: theme, the formatting of the text, layout, punctuation, and distraction (There must be more)

I will focus on the formatting of the text and the layout here, also a bit of punctuation

If you realize, since around the time I started this social media initiative (Last January), especially in this blog, I got myself a writing guideline

Inspired by coding guideline, do and don’t, cookbooks etc that I learned from programming (Yeah, I implemented knowledge that I learn from writing code here)

Also, I learned some formatting technique from writing the Disconnect Nostalgia last year

The guidelines are something along this line:

  1. Use as short of paragraph as possible, but not shorter than 2 lines
  2. Use as much punctuation as necessary
  3. Make the reading experience as seamless as possible
  4. Use writing formatting tool that WordPress offer wisely
  5. Make the important and not-important paragraph distinguishable
  6. Hide the fact that the text is long
  7. Enjoy the writing, enjoy the reading

If you’re thinking I just write those just now, yeah I did… I tried to write my experience at least 6 years into a short bullet-point, yeah, it’s weird

I will elaborate on some of the points

Use as short of paragraph as possible, but not shorter than 2 lines

If you see my posts from January 1st 2019, most of them will have this trade. Short paragraph

It’s actually come from my writing experience on Disconnect Nostalgia and reading Arya’s novels

The first thing that I would see from a novel, other than the usual stuff like cover, and synopsis is the length of paragraphs

The very first novel that I finish completely, in less than a week (Or a day? 3 days?) in fact, is Brothermaker which is written by Wulanfadi

Idk, I just started reading it, and I enjoyed reading it. When I thought, why I enjoy reading this novel but not other novel? I come to conclusion that, the fact she write the paragraph so short make it easy to read

You know, there’s this psychological thing… lemme find it

There’s this thing called Positive Reinorcement (Thanks Two Cent). For the purpose of this text, I will explain it like this

It feels good checking those to-dos in your to-do list

Yeah, something like that

It feels rewarding whenever I finish one chapter, it feels like I level up one level

So I tried to use it in a smaller scope, a paragraph. It feels good finishing reading one paragraph, it felt like I step one step close to my destination

So I cheat myself, I make the reward come as often as I possibly could. I make the paragraph shorter, so those dopamine rush come more often, which in turn motivated me to read more

Hide the fact that the text is long

I notice this when I read/listen to r/slash type youtube content, like this one for example

Especially in r/EntitledParent, the reading often is so long that a 15 minutes video only contain 2 story

Like, what? That’s a 8 minutes reading for one story

But for some reason, I didn’t care… Why? Other than the fact that I enjoyed reading it, I don’t know the story is that long

Back to the reading novel, you, more often than not will read without knowing how long a chapter is

You just read one page after another without knowing the total paragraph of the chapter

(Which btw, back to my first point, you can see one entire page, so writing the paragraph short tricked you into thinking the chapter is short)

In the video, I don’t know how long a story would be, because I don’t bother wasting my time seeking the timestamp when one story would finish

I just listen, and for some reason 15 minutes have been passed, and 40 paragraphs already been read… without me even noticing until I notice it

I actually want to talk more about other points, maybe I will write about it in the future, in part two maybe (Hiding the fact that it’s long)

I got a cat this morning, and exam tomorrow, bye~

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