For the longest time, I have been trying to keep up with current events on a regular basis. But as a man who has no TV, still uses a pay-as-you-go phone and doesn’t really use social media, it is very difficult for me to stay connected with the news. I have to literally force myself to visit various news sites in order to stay informed. Yes, this is how I spend my free time.
Of course, until very recently, it has not gone very well. At best, I would check random news and pop culture sites every two to three weeks, while being frustrated that I’m not reading articles as frequently as I should. One Sunday afternoon, I decided that enough was enough, and decided to try to come up with a routine to keep up with the news on a regular basis that wouldn’t make me feel like I’m the only person in the entire world living in a cave.
My main objective was to come up with a simple routine where I can get a lot of information in a small amount of time using as few Web sites as possible. Yes, I am well aware that this is the equivalent to all of those annoying people on House Hunters asking for hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. I’m trying to make it as simple and minimalistic as possible so, you know, I don’t have a nervous breakdown and be mentally institutionalized.
My basic plan of action was to make a list of the type of news sites and other online publications that I might need on a regular basis. This is what I came up with.
– One National News Source
– One Local News Source
– One Entertainment News Source
– One Pop Culture Web site (With TV recaps and the like)
– Any specialized publications that I’m interested in
This is what I ended up choosing:
CNN (National News)
The Orlando Sentinel (Local News)
Democracy Now (Independent News)
Deadline (Entertainment News)
Vulture (Pop Culture)
Good Magazine (Alternative Magazine)
Narrative (Literary Magazine)
Blackbird (Literary Magazine)
Geist (Literary Magazine)
Book Browse (Book Reviews and News)
Bright Lights (Film Magazine)
Yeah… I think I got a little carried away with the specialized publications, but it could’ve been a lot more. I actually tried incorporating these Web sites in my daily for about two weeks and, let’s just say, it kind of worked out, and it kind of didn’t.
In the first week, I was browsing news stories from mostly CNN and The Orlando Sentinel. All of the other news sites and publications were pretty much ignored. The second week was more or less the same, except I didn’t follow the news for a day or two. The reason why this was the case was because I didn’t want to six hours a day browsing the news. I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. Of course, I shouldn’t have chosen so many news sources/publications. I like having options. Sue me.
Still, I’m surprised I visited at least some of the news sources on an almost daily basis. I’m, of course, going to continue to keep up with the news and pop culture, but with one major change: I’m going to browse the general news sources in the morning and do the rest later on in the day. It sounds like a good plan. I hope it works, or a nervous breakdown might be in my future.