How Do You Consume News?

“Why were you lurking under our window?”
“Yes – yes, good point, Petunia! What were you doing under our windows, boy?”
“Listening to the news,” said Harry in a resigned voice.
His aunt and uncle exchanged looks of outrage.
“Listening to the news! Again?”
“Well, it changes every day, you see,” said Harry.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As mentioned in an earlier post, I intentionally consume a lot of news; but occasionally I do try to step back and consider my habits. At this particular moment in British and American geopolitics there is so much happening and at such a fast pace that I have found myself trying to read more and more news on an increasing number of (vetted) platforms and relying on feeds to keep up instantaneously on coverage of a number of issues.

I don’t actually think this is healthy. For some people, perhaps, but right now, not for me. It’s not good for my focus, my productivity, or my heart rate. As someone who normally allows not a single notification alert option to be activated on any of her devices (with the exception of professional ones), I’m developing a curious compulsion to be kept up to the minute.

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But more critically, at this moment I don’t think it’s good at supporting my intention to be informed. Not every flashing “breaking new” graphic (and goodness, aren’t those causing heart palpitations) denotes a fully fleshed and well sounded story. I’m trying an experiment for the next few days where I’m going to be checking in on the news once in the morning and once in the evening and going cold turkey betwixt. My theory is that not only will this free up quite a bit of emotional energy it will give the media landscape time to present more and better connected facts to me. I’m curious to see if this will turn out to be the case or not.

But this left me wondering: how do you, faithful SDS loyalists, consume your news? Do you rely on feeds, paper subscriptions, digital subscriptions, emails from well meaning elderly relatives, or water cooler chatter? How often a day do you check in with your information streams? Have you dialed up your intake of news lately, or intentionally scaled back?

4 thoughts on “How Do You Consume News?”

  1. Is the social engineering used for “control” to which all, in some way or another, we are hooked.It’s human nature to fall into the routine of always going to the same places for information and entertainment, and of following the same interests over a long period of time. Worse, it’s human nature to fall into the habit of avoiding what we aren’t familiar with… in fact we are social engineered people 🙂 Hugs from Spain

  2. I actually did a complete social media detox for 30 days and I have had to seriously curb my news intake, as I fear it will be the ruin of me. What’s that cartoon I keep seeing? “My desire to remain informed is at odds with my desire to remain sane.” I don’t read from too many sources, AP, NPR, HuffPo, The Daily Beast and I can’t avoid it on Facebook. I try to just skim and close things down when I feel like hiding under the covers.

    1. So say we all! I like the idea of a detox. I’ve done something similar in the past and it was very beneficial…but I’m hesitant to do so now in case I miss a major story. Which might mean I’m an addict, if I’m honest!

      1. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I had physical symptoms from just wanting to look at my phone. It was odd. I think we’re all addicts.

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