After thinking yesterday about being more deliberate in how I interact with the digital world, I find myself looking for ways to practice it. The instances that come to mind are centered around content: what content is delivered when and how. (Are there others?)
One way I accomplish this is through personal curation. There are sources that I rely on for various things, like the New York Times or Harvard Business Review. Rather than count on an aggregator or platform (e.g. Facebook) to pick and choose what we read and the acceptable sources, I do this on my own.
For a while now, I have used Feedly to handle my RSS feeds. Find a good news source or blog? I add it. Interestingly enough, a number of sources seem to be down on RSS as a viable way to interacting with the internet. Recently thought, I came across this article from Wired.
The difference between getting news from an RSS reader and getting it from Facebook or Twitter or Nuzzel or Apple News is a bit like the difference between a Vegas buffet and an a la carte menu. In either case, you decide what you actually want to consume. But the buffet gives you a whole world of options you otherwise might never have seen.
Doubling Down on RSS
I’ve always viewed RSS as a more curated and purposeful way to pick what I am reading. One aspect of RSS that is more pronounced today than ever for me, in the context of social media news feeds and knowing your sources of information, is that with RSS I can’t be lazy. I can’t just load up the old reader and see what someone has put in front of me without my having added them. Consent is built right in, assuming the source of information remains in-tact.
Living an algorithm-free life may be an impossibility today, but for now I am in control of what and when I see things. I can let sources in that I may not agree with and others which may be easier on the eyes, but however it is done I can rest assured I know where the content is coming from with an RSS feed.