It’s time. Recent events have taken my social media fixation — addiction? — and forced me to recognize the impact and the limits of the medium. On one hand, the allure of breaking news and video seemingly direct from people and sources makes a compelling case that to be in the know means being actively engaged on social media. On the other hand, I don’t know what to place value on or not and in what percentage. I have no desire to get into the believe/disbelieve dichotomy or, god forbid, the fake news rant. Information in all forms has always been written by people and disseminated by corporations. That is what it is. Let’s not get too excited about it. Companies worth sending money to for their work make money on the perception of the attempt at accurate reporting and the apparatus to fact check, edit, review, respond, and apologize for reporting. That’s enough for me to give their information the time of day. My head will stay discerning.
Therefore, I intend to stay informed without being stuck on social media to waste my time and sway my intake of information. I’m going old school.
Rather, I started going old school a few months ago. It started with a 2020 resolution to give myself a phone break while commuting. In addition to the hard and paperback books I began to buy and read exclusively, I picked up a subscription to the New Yorker. I get excited for my new edition to arrive each week. I read through it religiously and in the same week of publication. Next came a renewal of the weekend (Friday-Sunday) New York Times. It felt great to absorb articles and reporting in a leisurely, focused manner. Helps me to read articles I wouldn’t otherwise click on. Also, it helps to focus on a paper in front of me and not be distracted by the myriad alerts of the phone or computer. Recently, I added the Atlantic to my magazine subscription. Long form journalism is amazing. More so now than ever. The final step today was making sure I was getting a daily print newspaper. I choose the Washington Post for a second option to the Times and also to help keep me attached to the region I live in. Also, there is definitely going to be news I will want to read daily. I’d take a more boring world at this point. But nobody gave me that option.
No more http://www.washingtonpost.com or http://www.nytimes.com throughout the day. Certainly less Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The news can wait until I can consume in a more purposeful manner. Social media can be used to laugh, share, and communicate.