I think I’m warming up to push notifications…
I moved to Los Angeles a month and a half ago and my news consumption diet has changed almost as much as my food diet.
Back in India, my primary platform for getting news was Facebook, closely followed by Twitter. I was never hooked to a phone screen 24x7, so I found out about breaking news more through Facebook than Twitter (unlike the rest of the world). For the most part, I used my phone, which had a beautiful 5.5" screen, unlike my current iPhone 5s, at which I often need to squint. But the rant against the screen size can happen later.
Once at the j-school, push notifications took over my life. I was always under the impression that push notifications will forever be on my list of “things that are appreciated only by my dad,” but now that I have a crazy schedule where I barely have time to check Facebook, I have fallen back on them to keep me informed throughout the day. And I have since softened my stance. It’s still a love-hate relationship, though.
I have also reduced the number of organizations I used to follow for daily news from around six to three, primarily because I don’t have time to read a lot. WashPost has replaced Reuters on my list and it sits alongside AP and NYT. I try to like BuzzFeed, but I’m not sure I enjoy the emojis all the time. Surprisingly, I consume little to no daily news about India and I’m not proud of it.
Quality journalism or not, I’ve almost entirely stopped reading long-form pieces unless they are required for class. I’ve 28 recent ‘saves’ from last week, but I’m not sure when I’ll get around to actually reading them. I think I save more than I click.
My primary device for news consumption has changed from my phone to my laptop. Because the screen size of my phone is too tiny (4") to ensure comfortable reading, I have resorted to reading on my laptop, which remains running almost 80 percent of the time I’m awake. Push notifications are about all I read on my phone.
What hasn’t changed is my disinterest in newsletters and I am quite certain that it will remain that way. My interest in visually-strong interactives, no matter how complex, has also not wavered one bit. I will still prefer spending a long time on a complex interactive that helps me understand and engage with a story than reading through a mass of text. It often makes me wonder how I survived five years studying Literature…
Anyway, here’s a TL;DR version of my consumption habit changes in 1.5 months:
Phone → Laptop
Facebook → Push notifications
Reuters, AP, NYT → WashPost, AP, NYT
Multiple (long-form, short pieces) → Max. 800 words
Type of news —
India + International (primarily US and Middle East) → US + International
Time of highest news consumption —
Morning/late night → almost equally distributed throughout the day