~/diary/Junk Media Diet
Updated Feb 26, 2021

🖊 Junk Media Diet Monday, Nov 30, 2020

Consuming news through Facebook, Reddit is the brain equivalent of eating McDonalds everyday.

Don’t get me wrong I love Reddit. But I hate the Reddit News tab. It sucks time and life away from me. And correcting this habit is as hard as turning one’s diet from burgers and chips to salad and pork chops.

I need to stay informed as much as I need to eat. I got my diet under control after years of learning. I eat plenty of amazing food and my belly is right where i want it. I need to do the same for my brain food.

Social Media News needs to go.

My main source of daily news is an aggregator [1]. I collected hundreds of amazing feeds of all kinds. But I actually never read anything but the daily news.

If Social Media News is McDonalds, then Mass Media News (CNN, New York Times, Fox, …) is frozen TV dinner.

I try to keep it healthy by adding variety[2]. Seeing the same bit of news presented and dressed by different countries or by opposite sides of the political spectrum is great to get a tridimensional view of the actual events, their ramifications, and the landscape around them.

In contrast, feeding exclusively on news from Facebook + Fox News, or on CNN + New York Times + Reddit is like eating the same frozen lasagna. Every. Single. Night. If all you have is a freezer and a microwave. Let it it be frozen dinner. But at least add some variety.

Maybe get together a bunch of sources. For politics, left wing and right-wing. Centrist and extremist. Intellectual and clickbait-y. I’d like to add more news from more places around the world and local/remote/global communities.

The upside AND downside of multiple contrasting feeds is the redundancy of the information. So maybe I could make diverse buckets for different days?

If treated as the occasional snack, I could still fit some Reddit in the mix. Just stay TF out of the News tab.

The rest of my mind diet is not too bad, but it could be better.

Books are the brain equivalent to vegetables for the body. I believe in eating plenty. I dedicate a fair amount of time to books, but I’m super slow, stopping to think every 5 minutes[3].

Podcasts and long-form conversation are the protein of my diet. I’m mindful of where my protein comes from. I cook it myself. And and if I could, I would eat more. Similarly, I wish i could consume more podcasts. But what i listen to, doesn’t go bad. If I get to it in a year, it’s still going to be delicious brain food.

Too often if I go out for a run, I fall back to listening to current events. So I love political satire is my bacon.

And then, there’s the good stuff. Which I’m just starting to explore and discover.

Reading a good article can be as joyful as eating a fresh oyster on a hot summer day. A joy for the senses and wonderful fuel for the body.

Just like my first time eating sashimi i was diffident, but I quicly learned to love it. The same way I’m learning to love articles and thoughts from semi-anonymous internauts.

There’s an world of delicious, homemade, ethically sourced, organic brain food out there that I cannot wait to explore.

[1] I like Feedly, but I’ll probably switch to something else soon. [2] Euronews or Al Jazeera. Daily Beast and Breitbart. [3] Thinking back, I always loved manuals and technical books, and I always struggled with the long dense paragraphs, history for example.