Wednesday, December 23, 2009 7:47 | Filed in Blogging, Media

“Too Long, Didn’t Read”.

I am, now and again, accused of writing too much. This is primarily because I don’t structure these blog posts to take up a specific amount of time to read, or words to fill. I start because there’s something I want to say, I talk about it, and then when I’m finished, I stop.

I understand that from time to time, one of my readers, if themselves pushed for time, may choose not to read the entire article, or may indeed skip it entirely. This is absolutely their prerogative and I have no objection to anyone choosing to do this.

But there is one thing that I then object to. This was summed up perfectly by a comment on a BBC piece about automated telephone systems by Clive James. And this is what the comment said:

This article suffers from a syndrome oft contemplated in the wider online community. TLDR. Too long, didn’t read. This is nothing more than a montage of the self-certainty that is your sense of observational humour, and the clarity of your modern social perspective.Marek, from Glasgow

In other words, this commenter is saying: my time is valuable, and I don’t have time to read the dross you’ve written, but I expect everyone else to read the important bits I have written, despite my public acknowledgement that I didn’t actually read the article.

And this is the height of hubris. If you don’t want to read to the end of an article, fine. Perfectly okay with me; it’s your time, do with it as you will. But don’t expect me — or anyone else — to consider that your opinion on something you haven’t actually read is worth them spending their time bothering over.

For me, the people who take this attitude have got the acronym all wrong. If you’re Too Lazy? Don’t Respond!

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6 Comments to TLDR

  1. The Goldfish says:

    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I saw this too and wondered why the BBC had bothered to publish the comment, given it had nothing to do with the article. It’s pretty much the same as saying, “I’m sure you think you’re very clever, but I only enjoy reading articles about cats. Since there was no mention of cats in the first paragraph, you lost yourself a reader.”

  2. Gary Miller says:

    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’d just like to say that I object strongly to an assumption you made. In particular errr….ummmm…sorry; you’ll have to wait until I go back and actually read the middle bit.

  3. shaun attwood says:

    December 24th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    a symptom of our forever shortening attention spans

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