Resetting the defaults: news
I’m addicted to news. I want to know what is happening in the world, from different viewpoints and without a delay. I fear missing out. This is not healthy. Not only does the constant reviewing of current affairs affect my mental health but jumping from different news source to another impairs my ability to focus. In early 2021, I decided to make changes on how I consume news.
First, I consolidated my news to a single source: Feedbin. Feedbin is open-source. With the support for YouTube embeds and newsletters, I can source information from other places in addition to RSS feeds. Social news websites, such as Lobste.rs and Hacker News, have RSS feeds: Frozen Lobster and Hacker News Daily, respectively.
I cannot use RSS without mute filters. I mute ads, weekly summary posts and other content that I consider to be low value. In addition, I mute current events such as developer conferences.
I read my feeds once a day, in the evening. For quick review, I have saved searches that exclude the few firehose feeds that I’ve subscribed. I don’t consume any news on my phone, instead I opt to use either a laptop or a desktop to create additional friction for consumption.
For current affairs, I follow YLE’s (Finland’s public broadcasting company) news on television once a day. Other news sources tend to be USA or UK centric or lack condensed summary of today’s events from around the world. I loose multiple viewpoints, but I gain more minutes in my day.
I won’t get all news with these practices and neither I’ll get the news that I got previously. I’ve accepted this fact. I don’t need to know the exact number of COVID-19 ICU patients in a given moment.
In summary: consolidate news to a single source, ruthlessly mute unwanted content and consume summaries of current affairs.