What has happened to your reading habits ever since the rise of the internet, blogs, Facebook and Twitter?The internet itself did not initially make a lot of difference to my reading habits. In the beginning (1996 for me), I mostly did not use the internet for anything more than research - which I then backed up from traditional sources. Occasionally I "surfed" the net out of curiosity.
I also joined a few of the early social networks (pre-Facebook). I did make a great deal of use of email, having formally been a enthusiastic letter writer. Even today, the majority of my emails are still long and detailed; I have never mastered the short email form, and actually I am grateful for that. I also joined a number of e-groups early-on, particularly ones related to home schooling. I learned a great deal from home schoolers all over the world, while at the same time I also continued to read home school books and magazines and connect with the few local home school folks. The big difference was that the e-groups were a large community, and with our far-ranging and detailed on-line conversations, I made close friends from around the world, some of whom I have since had the opportunity to meet face to face.
In the mid to late '90s I learned html and started my own website. It took quite a bit of effort at first, but once I got it set up, I just added and made changes and updates from time to time. It was basically a place to post writing efforts, and family photos etc.
It wasn't until I was on Facebook that I really got into social nets. In the beginning I only checked from time to time but as I built up my list of friends, I started checking more often. Now I'm in the mid-500s, 99% of them people I actually know, and if I wanted to read everyone's statuses regularly, I could be taking hours a day, which started to happen. So mostly I just skim, and some days don't look more than once or at all. But it's a big temptation to spend a lot of time there. I also was playing a couple of games, but realized how addictive they were, so I quit games except the very occasional game of Scrabble.
Learning to skim is a skill I'm developing more and more. Especially since I decided to try to really grow my blogs. I wanted to see what other bloggers in my interest areas were talking about, and learn more about blogging. So I started using Google Reader. That got really crazy because I read everything carefully, and I did a lot of commenting, hoping people would link to my blog, which they did. But now I skim a lot more, and am more particular about what I comment on, so I'm spending less time, but learning more in particular areas in which I'm especially interested.
I did sign up for a Twitter account, but have never really gotten going on it much at all. I did try out Posterous and some other social networking sites, but again haven't used them all that much. I suspect that if I had a cell phone with internet, I would probably be tempted to do a lot more tweeting. So I'm holding off on that for now, as I just don't have the time.