in general

Replaced the Apollo app on my phone with Instapaper

I’ve been addicted to Apollo for most of this year. The way people doomscroll Instagram and Twitter, I do Apollo. Mind you, it’s not Reddit, but Apollo, that I use. Reddit just happens to be the backend for this app in addicted to.

Therefore, now that Reddit has gone and killed off third party apps like Apollo, I’ve moved that app into a folder and replaced it with Instapaper. Since I’ve been spending so much time in Apollo, I’ve got a long of Read Later catching up to do.

I intend to move my RSS feed reader of choice – Fiery Feeds – to that spot at some point. I like catching up on what’s going on in my subscribed feeds.

But post-Apollo, I realized that much like on other addictive social networks, it’s the anticipation of what the next post will bring, that is the most addictive component. It’s not so much the emotions themselves that keep us hooked, but the rollercoaster of guessing what the next post will bring – will it be happy, sad, upsetting, or delightful? No matter how much I control my RSS feeds and my news apps, these will fundamentally still have that same “feature” – I can’t know what the next post will be about. I can only guess and that guessing game is addictive.

In contrast, Instapaper is largely under my control. I feed into it manually (except for a few automated emails that go into it – Airmail and LitHub). Therefore, I know what’s in it. The lack of anticipation is good.

It’s another form of slow living – trying to control what you consume on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis. Perhaps it’ll be good for me.

Otherwise, I’ll jump back on the bandwagon on some social network. Just not Apollo.

What do you think?


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  1. I’ve been trying to replace my reddit usage with rss feeds and newsletters for the last year or so, to reduce my time spent scrolling through endless content (that gets lower quality the further you go). I also had already trimmed my subreddit selection quite a bit to avoid all the politics and ragebait stuff.

    Only struggle I have is I still like to have something available when I’m low on energy and time, and the content in my RSS feed tend to take a bit more effort to get through than some light memes.

    Maybe I should just find a few high quality mobile games. I still love Mini Metro and Threes.

    • That’s always the struggle, Erik – it’s so easy to go through cheap memes than through higher quality content.

      About games – might I suggest that if you have a Netflix account, please check out Netflix Gaming. They’ve got some really amazing games in their catalog. I’ve been enjoying Laya’s Horizon on mobile and it’s a charm!