Why GoogleReader stresses me out

(For those of you unfamiliar, GoogleReader is one of Google’s many ingenious tools. It lets you sign up for all your blogs and other web sites, and it automatically sends you blog entries and other updates as messages, like an email inbox for the entire world wide web.)

So today I logged into my Google Reader account for the first time in many months, and in the upperleft hand corner it says, “All Items (1000+ Unread).”  As if it’s not enough that I have 400+ messages at my work email account, and 4797 unread messages in my yahoo account (not as bad as it sounds, mostly spam or listserv messages – I hope), now I have 1000+ unread items in Google Reader? 

This is particularly tragic, because reading blogs is primarily a tool for procrastination.  (You are procrastinating about doing something else you should be doing right now, aren’t you?)  GoogleReader takes this lovely, joyous activity of pure procrastination and transforms it into another stressful obligation: “Oh no, I’m more than 1000 posts behind on all my blog reading!” That’s just not right.  Plus, part of the fun of blog-related procrastination is the physical act of clicking on all the different sites.  Right?  Okay, maybe I’m alone on that part, but still…

Not that I’m against GoogleReader.  It’s actually a really good tool, with a really nice user interface and everything….