ONE OF THE BIGGEST revelations of this era of social isolation is that when people follow rules of social distancing they often rediscover vitality close at hand. In my case, social isolation has encouraged me to read more.
I haven't read more of Facebook but I have scrolled deep into Instagram's grid--the place where I find more words than images. I also read several pages deep into two of my curated lists on Twitter. And I spend more time--much more time--reading content I've paid to see through The Atlantic, The Irish Times, The New York Times, Tipperary Live, and the Washington Post.
I decide which rabbit hole to descend into based on recommendations of others I follow on Newsblur. I like Newsblur because it has introduced me to people who curate relevant content for me. Group collectives like Inoreader and Newsblur break me free of social networks' algorithms.
When a popular Newsblur recommendation takes me into a site where I've a paid subscription, I usually linger to read what well-regarded journalists reveal. I learn more because I can read deeper in apps where I don't hear any of the noise and bickering that often accompanies the same content when it's shared onto Facebook or Twitter.
In my ears I hear advice from podcasters like Jon Favreau who recommend that I share my perspective with voters from my home country on the run-up to the American Presidential election. For that reason I am pushing some of the content I'm viewing from subscription sites to my Tumlbr and then to my Blurblog and onto Facebook where most of my high school friends hang out. I'm also trying to automate this workflow so my Blurblog laces into an Airtable base that folds into a topgold collection on Roam.
I'm spending more than $80 a month on subscriptions and books. I buy print editions of a small selection of the Kindle topics I purchase when I want my kids to join me while discussing a topic. I'm impressed that Dylan (9) wants to sit for the opening of the nightly news from Ireland's national broadcaster. He listens intently to statistics about what's happening in hospital wards around the country and he memorises the daily tallies. He has elevated Dr Tony Holohan to hero status and he now thinks "Donald Trump is an eejit" based on how Irish mainstream media now portrays Trump's ham-fisted response to a national emergency.
I wonder if your media consumption pattern has changed while you're constrained by the need to stay close to home while COVID-19 rages outside. For me, this short three month period under COVD-19 restrictions has deeply affected my deep reading patterns.