Dig far enough back into your Pocket saves and it becomes a little like opening a time capsule. Wait—why did I save a Wikipedia article about llamas in 2015? Oh, right. What we save is a record of our interests, aspirations, questions, and even obsessions. In aggregate, what people save to Pocket provides a fascinating snapshot of what has captured our collective attention over the years.
For Pocket’s 10th anniversary, we looked back at the top-saved article for each year since we launched in 2012. Over the years, we’ve seen a few dueling impulses. Readers have turned to Pocket for help understanding the world and how to live better within it—from articles about the inner workings of the Obama administration to how computers literally work, as well as practical advice about parenting and careers. But they’ve also shown deep skepticism—even weariness—of the impact of technology and social media, and the relentless pace of modern life. Articles about information overload and burnout make the list again and again.
And we can all admit: The web is often overwhelming. But we like to think Pocket can also be part of the solution—a space to get away from endless social media feeds and doomscrolling and to spend time with the things that matter to you. We hope it continues to be your trusted guide to what’s good on the internet for many years to come.
Here are the top saved stories for each year of the past decade.
Michael LewisVanity Fair
To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States—and this president in particular. Hanging around Barack Obama for six months, in the White House, aboard Air Force One, and on the basketball court, Michael Lewis learns the reality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who sent Stark into combat.
Rolf DobelliThe Guardian
News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether
Hanna RosinThe Atlantic
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
Software has been around since the 1940s. Which means that people have been faking their way through meetings about software, and the code that builds it, for generations.
Andrew SullivanNew York Magazine
An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts. It broke me. It might break you, too.
Jean M. TwengeThe Atlantic
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
Tim UrbanWait But Why
Our career path is how we spend our time, how we support our lifestyles, how we make our impact, and even sometimes how we define our identity. Let’s make sure we’re on the right track.
Anne Helen PetersenBuzzFeed News
I couldn’t figure out why small, straightforward tasks on my to-do list felt so impossible. The answer is both more complex and far simpler than I expected.
Ed YongThe Atlantic
The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.
Adam GrantThe New York Times
The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021.
Dive into the brilliant advice, timeless long reads, and startling predictions that the Pocket community has been saving—and coming back to—for the past decade.