How to survive the new Fall?

Written by Lionir

This is a follow-up to a post I made a few days ago. Oh by the way, I have this domain now, no more Codeberg or Neocities, sorry!

Alright, where to start... Well, alright, I explained the problem so let's look at my solution. Maybe I should go and find why it's better before presenting the solution but it'll all work out the way I do it, I think. The solution that I found is using a feed reader.

What is heck is a feed reader?

Well, it's a piece of software which is going to allow you to subscribe to websites which provide RSS/Atom/JSONFeed (Don't worry about the terminology, it's just different formats for a feed). Subscribe to a website? Yes! This way instead of going to websites and seeing if they posted anything new, you just have it there.

Is this still too vague? If so, showing feed readers might help. I personally use Feedbin which is paid but here are some other popular ones, Feedly, Inoreader, Miniflux, FreshRSS. They have different terms, layouts and pricing, pick whichever you want. There's also some apps for desktop or mobile for these services (or to have it locally rather than as a service) if you want but I'm gonna skip on that for the sake of brevity.

Why would I use that?

Simply, you get news about whatever you want without relying on others sharing the article on social media.

Why would I want that?

I have five big reasons :

  • No commentary
  • No virality
  • No "quick comment"
  • Only sources you trust
  • Relevant to you

No commentary

When you find an article on social media, you're likely to read the title then read the comments (or read commentary about the article first). This creates a clear bias to how you'll read the article (if you even end up doing that). This might mean you come into an article thinking whoever wrote it did so in bad faith which will skew how you read what they're saying. Note, the commentary could be insightful in certain cases but largely, this is not how social media pushes discussions. More generally, this avoids mob mentality and allows you to form your own opinion.

No virality

You're less likely to share something which is actually misinformation because if you read the article, you might realise something is fishy and be inclined to research it more to be sure that you have the right information and you're less likely to read false information in general.

No "quick comment"

You've probably seen those comments which are just there for a quick joke, or some crappy comment that anyone who has read the article knows is false. These kinds comments tend to derail how any discussion goes and as such, you should avoid doing them if you end up on a discussion forum about the article and you should just ignore people who make those types of comments (or feel free to correct them, that's good too but never take it to face value). A good place for conversations that I like is Tildes but I'm going off-topic now.

Only sources you trust

This might be the most important part. When articles are shared widely, you don't think about what the source of the information is. When you make your feed, you should take your time to check the source of your information to both see their biases but also to see it's not just bullshit. A good start to see if you should trust them is seeing who owns the newspaper and how they fund themselves.

Relevant to you

You should make your feed reader personalized for things you can take action in, like local politics, or projects that you want to follow/participate in. For example, if you don't live in the US, you probably shouldn't follow US news daily. Maybe you can make it a weekly if you have friends there and want to be informed on how it is there but it shouldn't flood your feed otherwise you'll get tired of it. As a result, this changes the dynamics from passive to proactive and that makes things both more interesting and less tiring.

There are other solutions obviously but well, this is what I found personally.