Getting News From Print

Farhad Manjoo:

Basically, I was trying to slow-jam the news — I still wanted to be informed, but was looking to formats that prized depth and accuracy over speed.

It has been life changing. Turning off the buzzing breaking-news machine I carry in my pocket was like unshackling myself from a monster who had me on speed dial, always ready to break into my day with half-baked bulletins.

Now I am not just less anxious and less addicted to the news, I am more widely informed (though there are some blind spots). And I’m embarrassed about how much free time I have — in two months, I managed to read half a dozen books, took up pottery and (I think) became a more attentive husband and father.

These days I turned off all of the notifications on my phone. I prefer to read printed books over digital devices. I still carry a book with me everywhere I go. I look more like a dork reading a book while most people around me stare at their screen, even in my own home. I deactivate Facebook until I need to use Messenger to communicate with my family in Vietnam. I still need some work with Twitter since I use it mainly related to web design and development. The online publications I read the most are The New Yorker and The New York Times and I usually go for the long essays rather than quick news.