Chris Blattman

Reflections after a week of no social media

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I have been Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit free for a week now. I’m mainly happy with the decision, at least so far. I stare at my phone less. Not THAT much less, because the emails are endless and I can always plumb the depths of the New York Times app. But I do feel like I’m doing less frivolous browsing.

One drawback is that my news sources are seriously curtailed. I like the times but I need more breadth. I will consider subscribing to a few more blog and news feeds by email. I’m reading more books and magazines, but only a little. But this week was not representative: we put an offer in on a house, and that has eaten up enormous amounts of time, simply in learning how it all works. (I’m 41 and, until now, the most expensive thing I ever bought was a Honda Fit.)

All in all, I feel a little more focused and I don’t miss the info flow all that much.

15 Responses

  1. I use facebook 70% as a news feed, and indeed for links to interesting articles more broadly. This isn’t citizen reporting but rather friends who read (e.g.) The Guardian, which I don’t regularly, and sorting through it to my advantage. It’s also a better place for non-superficial political debate than twitter, although I think a decent blog (which is hard to find) would be better still.

  2. i recommend setting up a Feedly account to subscribe to different news sites and blogs

  3. I’d recommend NetNewsWire, it’s very similar to Google Reader, good middle ground between only Times & constant barrage of Twitter/Fb

  4. Not convinced the relationship building of social media is either solid or long term but more a matter of relationships of convenience. I still see the networking elements of social media as the most useful, being able to organize and act as a better roledex.

    As for news I prefer major outlets for credibility, accountability, and the presence of an editorial staff. It is rare that I am so caught on a topic that I feel I want the instant unfiltered updates of citizen reporters (please don t call them journalists), news twice a day is more than enough thanks.

  5. the info flow is in the short-term; the relationship-building possibilities of social media are more medium/long-term. do you think you will miss those?

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