As part of their series on ‘media diets’, The Atlantic Wire is asking a number of media luminaries how they manage the deluge of information we all encounter online.
Some names you’ll recognise includeÂ David Brooks,Â Ezra Klein,Â Tyler Cowen and the following from Clay Shirky discussing his distaste for ‘breaking news’:
In general, there’s no real breaking news that matters to me. I don’t have any alerts or notifications on any piece of software I use. My phone is on silent ring, nothing alerts me when I get a Tweet and my e-mail doesn’t tell me when messages arrive.
I also don’t read any of the big tech aggregators. Knowing that, for instance, Google just bought Blogger, isn’t that useful for me to hear today rather than tomorrow. Some of Michael Arrington’s stuff I think is an example of the worst kind of breaking news. The kind of Apple Insider stuff where they publish something every day to satisfy the news cycle. It’s gossip coverage like following movie stars and it distracts me from thinking longer form thoughts. [â€¦]
What are my guilty pleasures? Given the fact that media’s my jobâ€”I don’t feel much guilt. There’s no equivalent of eating HÃ¤agen-Dazs out of the box. [â€¦] That’s the thing about this job. If you think about it, I suppose the guilty pleasure is gardening or cooking. It’s about getting away from media consumption and making linguine instead.
Of all of the articles in the series, Shirky’s is the ‘diet’ my own is closest to.