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Pocket’s Top Stories of the Past Decade

A time capsule of the stories that captured our collective attention this decade, including Michael Lewis’s revelatory profile of Barack Obama, Ed Yong’s pandemic predictions, and Anne Helen Petersen’s magnum opus on millennial burnout.

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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.

Obama’s Way (2012)

Michael Lewis
Vanity 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.

The Overprotected Kid (2014)

Hanna Rosin
The 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.

What Is Code? (2015)

Paul Ford
Bloomberg

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.

Explore 10 Years of Pocket Favorites

Pocket

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.