In high school (less than 5 years ago), I really struggled to find easy ways to get news of politics. I remember finding politico.com and thinking it was completely revolutionary. It’s funny to realize that especially because it is now almost too easy to get access to any/every type of news.
This post has been pending for awhile and was originally intended to showcase how I oh-so-carefully curate my news through different channels. However, after the election there have been many conversations about silos/echo chambers along with a daily avalanche of incredibly overwhelming and alarming news and think-pieces that critically respond to anything questionable/unconstitutional/illegal that has happened and I recognized the need to reevaluate. I decided that I needed to read even more, to stay constantly informed, to continue my subscription to the NYT/WSJ, and to channel my frustration concerning the news into my activism and awareness. What I did not anticipate was a quick sense of news-burnout.
During the last weekend of January I went on a Women’s Retreat that I used as an excuse to relax, keep my phone off for a couple days, make new friends, and to take a break from the news. But when I turned my phone back on, I was hit with the news of the (now failed) Muslim Ban(?!). I remember sitting back and thinking about how this is my new reality: a constantly political Facebook feed, everyone suddenly aware of activism, civil liberties being denied and challenged on the daily, and having almost daily conversations with my friends about these topics. I also now recognize that the news, especially today, with the stake we all have in it, is absolutely inescapable.
For the remainder of this post, I’m going to highlight how I’ve been curating and processing my news but I will also include a section devoted to what I do to turn it off for processing/self-care days.
At some point last year, I realized that I love newsletters and I love a good excuse to keep me clicking away at interesting articles and news stories. I used to be on top of reading the newsletters and even knew at one time to expect each one, however, I got carried away and I now subscribe to 25+ that arrive at different times and days. I don’t have as much time during the day to read them, but I still highly recommend them. I tried to subscribe to a wider variety of news sources but if you can’t tell, I’m slightly obsessed with the NYT…
- Daily News: NYT–Today’s Headlines, NYT– Your Morning Briefing, NYT–Your Evening Briefing, Quartz Daily Brief, theSkimm, WSJ–Gerard Baker the 10-Pointer,
- Tech News: The Next Web–Top News from the last 24hrs, Tech Crunch, Inside Security
- Health/Intersectional/Politics/Other: Read This Thing, Lenny Letter, The Slay by Mic, mindbodygreen, Fast Company, Another Round, NYT–First Draft on Politics, NYT–Opinion, NYT–Boletín, NYT–Bits, NYT–Well
Apps I use / notifications
The Apps I use are fairly essential to my news consumption, the first being Get Pocket. I have it as a Chrome Extension, an app on my phone, and as a tab that I always keep open. Once I read anything, I pocket it (by clicking a button on the top right of my screen) which saves it. This integrates with my phone and I have all the articles saved, plus I tag the save based on the topic. In addition, I’ll also Snooze articles I want to save later. In the mornings, while half-asleep, I ask the Amazon Alexa to give me a Flash Briefing from a variety of news sources. Throughout the day I receive NYT/CNN cell notifications and I also receive notifications from Nuzzel–a new and great find find. It aggregates articles that multiple people I follow on FB/Twitter post.
How I use social media
For awhile, social media became my main source of news consumption. (Again, in the wake of fake news, I’m still in the process of evaluating whether this is still a good idea).
However, I still use Facebook/Twitter to follow activists, writers, actors, and groups so I can see what they’re posting. Some of the people I follow on Facebook include Junot Díaz, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie, The love life of an Asian Guy, Latina Rebels, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez, George Takei and I star their pages so I see what they post first on my feed. Additionally, I use the save article feature to save articles for later (really hoping that Facebook better develops this feature and includes better search functions >.<).
On Twitter, I tried to follow less American news sources and follow news sources in Spanish instead, including Telemundo, Univision and Latin news journalists. I use lists for activists and news sources but again, still hoping that Twitter will eventually fix this feature, it truly is underdeveloped and frustrating because you need to add people individually to a list instead of a mass click.
I’m new to the podcast world and I get most of my recommendations from Corinne Logan, other friends, Twitter, and looking up best podcast lists.
- In Spanish: Buenos Días America* (de lunes a viernes por treinta minutos), Radio Ambulante
- Latinx: AllegedlyNYC, Alt.Latino, Latino Rebels, Latino USA*
- Intersectional: 2 Dope Queens, Another Round*, Code Switch, For Colored Nerds, See Something Say Something
- Science/CS: Code Breaker, Science Vs, Hidden Brain, Science Vs, StarTalk*, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Galaxy
- Politics: The Ezra Klein Show, The Roots, More Perfect*, The Daily
I don’t have cable and I don’t watch the news on TV. It’s an easy fix for avoiding sensationalized news to get more viewers.
What I am going to do
Welp, while I was constantly “on” and spending hours reading and staying informed and getting mad I was also getting frustrated, overwhelmed, and anxious. Recently, I’ve encountered days where I can’t even make myself want to read my Morning Briefing. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with turning off my notifications, not reading any newsletters, stopping screen time past my 6:30-9:15pm night class, and avoiding social media, and screen time. Going forward, I plan on limiting or eliminating usage on weekends and evenings and replacing that time with reading.
This entire system is fairly subject to continued iteration especially concerning the direction of the administration, my mental health, and any new podcasts/newsletters/apps I find.