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Open Thread: What Do You Eat in Your Media Diet?

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I am really late to this, but The Atlantic has been posting peoples’ media diets for a while now.  My favorites are the people I’m most familiar with: Tyler Cowen, Anna Holmes, Terry Gross, Gary Shteyngart.

I’m always interested in what people read and how they read it (which is probably evident by the Friday Links), so I thought it might be fun to share what/how we read stuff in the comments.  What really interests me about the media diet series is how may people use Twitter as a primary news source, how many still are adamant about reading paper versions of newspapers, and how many read New York-centric media.

Here’s mine:

I wake up around 6:30 and turn on Twitter  in Tweetdeck as I eat breakfast. I get the majority of my US breaking news from Twitter, but not this early.  Usually around this time, only Israeli and some European/Russian tweeps are up and at work, so I’ll catch some stuff from Israel.  I follow a lot of journalists, a lot of economists, and a lot of regular people who are really funny and interesting and sarcastic. I try to be like them.  Then, I flip to my Google News, which is customized with “Israel”, “Russia, ” “Central Asia,” “Economics,” and “Global Trade” sections.  I’ll skim that for major headlines or trends. Sometimes, I’ll flip to Google News Russia and Israel and read in Hebrew/Russian.  But only if I’m feeling unstoppable.

When I get to work, I’ll open my Google Reader, which I think is my primary source for non-breaking, more in-depth stories, especially esoteric news from Central Asia, Israel, home design, and the world of writers. I spent a long time getting Reader to an efficient way for me to get my news, and that sucker is slick as hell now.   My main go-to reads, according to my Reader Statistics are: YNet (usually I’ll read in English but if I’m feeling super-cocky I’ll open the Hebrew version), Apartment Therapy, ShortFormBlog, FastCompany, TheRumpus, and The Hairpin.  I also love The Tablet for Jewish-American centric news. I also catch up with blogs at this point so I can read humor writers who are much more talented than me. I’m really interested in people who write humor well and those who describe ordinary life well, as well as people living abroad.   Not to mention the Blog Bloc!

Then, I read news from Philly that might impact me locally at the dismal Philly.com and news from my industry, IT consulting. Usually that includes CIO.com and other similar industry mags.

At lunch, I’ll go through Twitter to see what I missed. Usually that includes a lot of content from NYTimes, The Atlantic, and Russia/Eurasia news.  Since I stopped reading Jezebel, NYMag.com is now my go-to lunch destination, but I feel like I’m still missing something, and it makes me sad. I stopped reading most feminist blogs entirely because they made me angry and ragey.  I now only read Curvy Girl Guide.

Halfway through the day, my mom will usually send me what I like to call Angry Israel links from Russian-language Jewish news sources. I will tell her to start reading normal news sources, she will disown me, and this cycle will continue until I tell her we’ll talk on Skype later.  Sometimes, people send me links I might be interested in via email. Then, sometimes, we have email conversations about those links.  Those are the best.

After work, I try to stop reading news and usually just end up watching something on my computer on Netflix. I hate watching shows at a scheduled time because I feel like the networks think I’m a moron.  I am working really hard on being away from screens after work and hopefully once we get into home stuff/summer biking weather/5k season, I’ll be able to achieve it. Once in a while, I’ll go on Reddit, where the most interesting subreddits for me are TwoXChromosomes and fitness. Never go on the Israel Reddit. Ever.

I am working hard again to start reading paper instead of the computer before bed so I can be relaxed, but the last books I read, The Hunger Games, were on my Kindle for Mac. Next book I’m buying will be in paper, mark my words.  I try to read at least two books a month, but with the move and going marginally crazy, that hasn’t happened. Although I do have three books waiting for me when life is semi-back to normal.

On the weekends, I’ll go to Barnes and Noble to “browse.”  I usually leave with something, mostly magazines. Magazines I like to read in print include Snob (it’s in Russian and at the same reading comprehension level as The Economist so it takes me a really long time to get through it, but so worth it), The Economist, Monocle, Foreign Policy, and The Nest. Also sometimes Rachael Ray Everyday. But don’t tell anyone. If I feel like I need to impress someone, I’ll pick up Foreign Affairs or the Harvard Business Review.  If no one’s watching and Mr. B’s not with me, I’ll get Glamour.

I just read this back to myself and realize how much information I consume every day. This includes mostly everything, but is not all-encompassing.   Also, this makes me seem like a huge asshole with lots of free time. But maybe it’s normal? You tell me.

17 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. You are very sophisticated compared to me… I only read Blog Bloc girls out of everything you mentioned. But if I ever need any info on current affairs in Israel or Russia, or fashion advice I will turn to you in hope you went to B&N alone this weekend.

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  2. Well, your “media diet” puts mine to shame. Mine mostly consists of twitter updates from various news sources, as well as whatever strange news stories my mother decides to send me regarding Russia, bears, cats, and/or the crazy residents of my town. I don’t have time for much else–my days are spent in class, my evenings spent reading and writing papers until I collapse, only to repeat it the next day.

    But news is one of the big reasons I got a Twitter account. Growing up in a household where we watch the news every night, not knowing/having the time to know what was going on in the world really unnerved me when I got to college. So while I may not have time to read news articles (online or in print) or watch the news every night, I do have time to read a 140 character tweet about the major goings on of the world.

    When I’m home (which, admittedly, hasn’t been all that much in the past year), I watch the news with my mom every night.

    I won’t even get into my reading habits in regards to books, because they’re all over the place. College has the tendency to do that to a person. Although at this point, I’m about half print and half kindle. Okay, this comment is ridiculously long so I’m going to stop now.

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    • I think if you took out all the other stuff I read, Twitter would still make up, like, 60-70% of my news.

      In college, I don’t remember how much news I read, but it wasn’t a lot because I just didn’t have time, so don’t kill yourself over it. I do remember that at Penn State we got WSJ, NYT, and USA Today for free in print every day, which was amazing, but, again, I didn’t have the time to read them every day. When I did, it was really cool. I still like to read WSJ and NYT in print from time to time.

      I’ve really been thinking about going Kindle, but I figure I spend so much time at a screen anyway that physical books are a good distraction.

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  3. You make me want to get myself organized. I am the least organized person ever, I think, and not very good at learning how to make the most of the constant stream of information we’re bombarded with through using fancy schmancy web tools like reddit or delicious.

    I love my Google Reader but I’ve got seriously behind on it lately. I have an aversion to blogs that post too often so I stopped following Apartment Therapy and Andrew Sullivan, even though I do really like those. I find Twitter draining, but I think it’s because I put too much pressure on myself to constantly say things that are at least somewhat amusing/funny. I spend too much time staring at the screen thinking, rather than paying attention to news headlines, which actually would be useful.

    If I’m trying to avoid work I’ll scan the Huffington Post, the Economist, and the Atlantic, but I usually don’t have the attention span to actually read the articles, unless they’re the fluff pieces on HuffPo or really short.

    I try not to turn the TV on after work, and turn on NPR instead if I’m online. This is harder than it sounds, though, because I love The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld reruns and bad reality television.

    Although I don’t do this everyday, I do quite like to put MSNBC on in the morning (when they’re not talking about birthers– thank god that’s over now, although apparently Donald Trump is questioning Obama’s college grades now??), usually while I am getting ready or working out, if I go to our little gym in our apartment complex to lift weights or go on the elliptical if I’m feeling lazy. Sometimes I watch Wendy Williams, but don’t tell anyone that and I won’t tell anyone about the Rachel Ray magazine.

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    • This sounds a lot like me. Although when I write it out it sounds neat and organized, I vary a lot from what I read and get distracted by the information streams. On Twitter, I also am very anxious about coming across as funny and cynical and it takes me sometimes 20 minutes to come up with a good tweet, which is just embarrassing.Performance anxiety. And if I’m not tweeting, I feel like I’m not participating enough in Twitter.

      I really do like to turn on financial news in the morning, too, usually before a big trip or also if I’m working out. I’m hoping that once we move I can switch back to pre-work workouts. Those are the best/worst.

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      • Agreed! I also dream of one day having my own treadmill and elliptical. Actually, I really want to have a series of fitness machines instead of a sofa. Then I’ll have to work out, right?! I hope Precor has a hotline for getting popcorn out of the crevices of the EFX model.

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  4. I’ve been using Twitter as a main news source for some time now. I have it well-optimized now with lots of groups for various interests. Facebook is less reliable, but wonderful when it’s ‘working’, since people can make fuller comments on the original piece and then you get all sorts of follow-up comments- often from people you don’t know. You’re making me think I’ll really have to check out Google Reader. Sigh. Another learning curve…

    Non E-sources (in English) are hardbacks- mainly on economics, paperbacks- historical research (for my novels), mysteries, bios and historical novels. In Czech I usually read the daily newspapers and often have a book – usually historical, although more likely to be recent historical. Also slowly working my way through a book by a Czech economist called the Economics of Good and Evil.

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    • I still have to set up Twitter groups. I think this is the key to getting the most out of it, probably. Facebook for me is horrible because I use it to engage in conversations and everyone’s usually all like, “i just had pizza, LOL” Google Reader is highly, highly recommended as a timesaver.

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  5. I read this and was like, “Sch-whaaat?” I don’t even know if I COULD read that much news, even if i had the time. doesn’t it get repetitive? Here’s the mad-libs headline to 90% of the news you read, I’m willing to bet: “____ people were killed in ____, due to the unrest in capital city ______. President ____ released a statement saying ____, which is being taken as a condemnation of the entire continent of ____.”

    bam – fill in the blanks and you’re done for the day. you’re welcome.

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    • Love it. Although sometimes it’s not civil unrest. It’s important to remember that it can be natural or man-made disasters, too.

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    • I read news more to get a fuller understanding of the region so I can be considered “an expert”, and for inspiration in my writing, than for everyday occurrences. As my teacher Mrs. Bej told us, “Learning is easy. It’s synthesizing the information that’s the most valuable.” For example, I keep reading about how up and coming Kazakhstan’s economy is. Yesterday I saw a link that showed a Central Asian market now not only with Russian, but Chinese letters. This tells me that China is moving in on Central Asia and that in 10 or so years, the region will again be a hotspot for news. What does this mean to me right now? Nothing. But it will soon, and I feel more well-informed.

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  6. I’m a little behind in my google reader too…I’m reading this what two weeks late? And yes I am so jealous of your free time :)

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