how to pull a current event mic drop
without ever picking up a newspaper
Here's one of my most shameful secrets.
I hate reading // watching the news.
But I love to be well informed!
Especially on International Women's Day // information is power.
I could say that the news just gets me too down (which it does) but mostly I just find it boring.
Lucky for me I live with a super connected // plugged in // most gentle mansplainer in the world + he has started curating my news for me. So I've been able to keep my disdain for reading the news a secret as I can mostly fool everyone around me into thinking I know what I'm talking about. Well, due to my highly curated news consumption, I kind of do.
When I say Kyle curates my news I'm not even being cute or quippy. He and I sat down and had an actual talk about how he should curate my news for me. He keeps me up to date on what's happening in our city // province // country + world politically // food + beer // told me about Beyonce being pregnant with twins so the service is perfect for me. If you don't have a Kyle though you can still keep up.
I also get a self-claimed minor pass as Kyle + I pay for a subscription to the New York Times. Guys, it's really important to pay at least one good source for your news, even if you are going to be like me and get most of your news from Instagram. I don't like to digest it in big chunks, but I desperately need someone to research + write it.
my guide to curated news
I'm very, very opinionated so I love to be able to punctuate what I'm saying with actual facts. I don't know about you, but I find facts really help an argument. So here's how I get my news // and how I recommend if you also hate following the news you can painlessly work the news into your life.
Yes it's curated for me. Which means that it's left-leaning. You shall receive no apologies from me on this front.
I hate that there's think pieces written about how far backwards we have slid as a society because so many people say their number one source of news is comedy shows. I hate it because it's an entirely painless way to get news and it's my number one source of news.
I'm lucky and have quite a few politically minded friends who are always sharing articles + opinions on Facebook and I kind of know who posts reputable sources and who I should find another person to confirm it with.
I also follow several political or like-minded organizations and check in on what they post. This generally keeps me up-to-date on issues I care about.
I also find that even without following any news if there is a massive event it trickles into everything including the beautifully photographed food blogs I follow. As a rule if something is showing up in unrelated items I check out what's going on through Kyle or Google so I know what everyone is talking about, even if I don't have a particular interest in the specific subject.
I'm listening to "The Daily" from the New York Times which is a daily 25 minute podcast that tells you what you should know in US news that day, and interviews experts who give opinions + background on some of the bigger stories. If you want to sound smart at a dinner party, this podcast is for you.
For the Canadians in the crowd, I'm now also suggesting COMMONS by Canadaland which is new every second Tuesday and has three diverse hosts talking about Canadian-centric current events. I'm loving some of the perspectives and opinions, and am really happy to be listening in about things that get overlooked if you spend all your time focusing on USA news, which I have mostly been doing. Canadian news has a bad wrap for being even more boring than other news, but I think they do a great job of making it interesting.
This one might seem the most obvious but for me it's been a big challenge. I've spent a massive part of my life feeling that if I didn't know something I should pretend I did until I could find out, because it's embarrassing to be ill-informed or not know what everyone else is talking about. However, I have recently come to a new resolution // determination that it's more embarrassing to be afraid to ask than it is for the worst case scenario- to be called an idiot for not knowing- to happen.
I still struggle to put myself out there, but overall have made an active decision that I know a lot of things. I'm well educated and do my best to keep up with what's going on. I cannot know everything, but other people do have the information I want if I just ask them for it. So, for example, this winter when someone was talking about how things were going to change because of the teacher's strike, I just asked them "could you please explain? I don't know about that, what's going on?" and they told me. They didn't call me an idiot. And because I asked, I now know that BC is getting a lot more teachers in the fall term + they are going to reduce class sizes. If I hadn't asked I wouldn't know + that would have been so much worse than the minor gut wrench I got asking.
And then discuss // debate. I find a lot of other news trickles out when you start talking about a news story + if you keep asking you keep getting more information.
It also works both ways, and I have to work on this too. When someone asks you about the news, don't call them an idiot. Explain what's going on + if you're comfortable give them your opinion on it in a respectful way. Right now I think we all have a duty to know + share what's up.
Honestly, if you do those things you'll be able to mostly keep up with what's going on.
And I'm really sorry. I know following the news can suck // get a person down // bore you to tears, but it's really important, especially now, to know what's happening in the world.
I wish you the best of luck learning to pretend to love the news.
And filling your arguments full of facts.