10 signs you’re a skim reader

Do you really need proof you have a short attention span?

Stephen Scott
Feb 29 · 6 min read
“TL;DR LOL” Oh yes, he’s one of us. That’s classic skim reading. He’s even listening to a podcast while pretending to read a magazine AND a blog article. Sheesh. What an a-hole. Misrepresented photo by Anastasiia Kamil on Unsplash

It’s nothing to be ashamed about

Time is precious

Geez, what a downer. Life sucks and then you die? Morbid, much. Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Salient points only

Human brains are evolving in our digital world

Ha! It’s a photo of a dog reading. That’s relevant, right? Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It’s easier to only read the subheadings

Occasionally you read a paragraph

Oh, a quote! You’ll read that.

Sometimes stopping for bullet points

  • a little black dot
  • followed by another black dot
  • because they mean the author has lost patience
  • everything is being summarised for the lowest common denominator
  • if they really think you need to read it, they’ll put it in bold. Maybe even italics.

And obviously the pictures count

OMG it’s Spider-Man reading a book! Totes relevant. Now you’re singing the theme song, aren’t you? Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Friendly neighbourhood … hold on … do I have to pay royalties if I keep going? It’s in your head now anyway. Ha! Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

I stole this photo idea from Kayla Medica who used it in an actual helpful article on skim reading. Helpful because it’s honest: her article knew my writing sucks and told me so in the lede. A sentient article. We live in the future.

A good writer summarises everything in the headings

You shouldn’t have to read the waffle

Most of it is filler anyway

This article isn’t relevant for babies. Babies can’t read. These babies from Boston grew up to be psychopathic liars, used car salespeople, and most probably serial killers. You should never trust a baby that pretends to read. Photo taken completely out of context by Boston Public Library on Unsplash

Skim reading saves time

You look smarter

By reading it faster

What did I tell you? Cat’s invented the internet to control us! Photo by Neringa Šidlauskaitė on Unsplash


To prove to everyone else in the universe you took time to read the whole thing, you should interact: leaving a pearl of wisdom is good. So is sharing with your friends.

About the author

The Hit Job

humor | culture | football | trouble

Stephen Scott

Written by

I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe. Writing flash fiction to amuse, entertain, enlighten & inspire … and Other Random Things.

The Hit Job

humor | culture | football | trouble

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