We have seen many people in the media argue that we should stop using social media because it's bad.

I'm reminded by this post by my friend @avinash ... look at the video.

When was the last time the front page of the NYT made you feel this type of joy?
My point is not to defend social platforms. There are problems on them within specific things. Problem they need to do something about. But newspapers are no substitute for all the amazing things that happen on social channels every day and all the joy it gives us.
And, as a media analyst, having studied the effects of news avoidance, news fatigue, and how news affects people's mental health, following wonderful people on social channels is really important in lifting people back up again.

Especially now.
Here is an example. When you wake tomorrow morning, instead of starting by reading the latest news headline, try skipping the news, and watch this video of a guy traveling with his cat.

And then an hour afterward, think about how you now feel.
I can promise you that you will feel better because you didn't start your day with anger, anguish, nor did you feel outraged by whatever idiotic thing some politician just did.

Feeling outraged is the worst way you can possibly start your day.
In fact, if you stopped reading the news every morning and then only looked at it at specific times later in the day (and only for a limited time), your mental health would dramatically improve.
I'm not saying this because I don't like the news. As a media analyst, I consider news and journalism to be a highly essential part of society. I consider it to be something that is extremely important, and something we should strive to do better at all times.
But I truly worry when I see journalists argue that news should be only form of media people should have.

News only looks at a very specific part of life, a part that is dominated by political problems, crime and anger.

But this is not what the world is really like.
Hard news Journalism is extremely important. But do not ever think that this type of journalism is the only thing people should see.

News is important, but it does not, in any way, represent life as a whole.
What people need to learn, though, is to use different channels for different things. I don't understand anyone who uses Facebook to read about news, because that just idiotic.

Why use a channel optimized for low-intent micro-reactions to read about things that outrage you?
Instead, when I use social channels, I use them for specific things.

On YouTube and Instagram, I do not follow any hard news channels. Instead, I define YouTube as my sanctuary away from the news. It's what turn to when I need to de-stress as a media analyst.

So I see this:
I personally don't use Facebook anymore, but that's mostly just because my friends there are only posting memes (total waste of time) ... but my mom, who owns a knitting store, uses it hundreds of time per day to engage with Facebook groups filled with people who knit.
Twitter is what I use for work. This is where I publish shorter media commentary (like this one) and engage with people in the industry.

So design your media consumption to work for you rather than against you. That's true both for social media and for traditional media.
BTW: In case you are interested, here is an episode I made about news fatigue: baekdal.com/podcast/episod…

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More from @baekdal

10 Oct
That moment when you see a tweet that you think it 10 years old... but nope, it was posted in 2020:

Really?!? Print to iPad ... Image
One thing that is slightly interesting about this is that they are lending out iPads to subscribers. localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/posts/2020/01/…
They also have a crazy (although impressive) on-boarding process.


You have to be seriously local to do this. Image
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
Newspapers. Please stop reporting about national polls without taking into account how the electoral college is actually the thing that defines the outcome.

Here are the polls vs. outcome from 2016 Image
In 2016:
Polling average: Clinton 46.3% / Trump 43.1%.
Votes: Clinton 48.2% / Trump 46.1%
Election result: Clinton 42.7% / Trump 57.3%

And this was then reported as: Image
So again, this year, we see newspapers make exactly the same mistake. You talk about how Biden is in the lead in the national polls, which he is... but the national polls is a poor metric to use.
Read 8 tweets
19 Sep
One thing that many people here in Scandinavia don't understand is 'why' the virus is happening the way it is.

Let me explain by comparing Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. (well, mostly Denmark and Sweden)
When the virus hit Scandinavia (almost simultaneously), both Norway and Denmark imposed a lockdown, whereas Sweden had a more 'casual approach. Sweden did add some restrictions but to a much less degree.

The effect was very clear.
However, what happened then in Denmark was that, as we got the virus under control, we started reducing the restrictions more and more ... so much in fact that we ended up with fewer restrictions than in Sweden.
Read 14 tweets
12 Sep
Note to journalists: "We are finding more infected because we are testing more" is a misleading thing to report.

When you write anything about testing, it's the 'rate' of infected that matters. If they test more, the rate of infected should go down. ⬇
From a journalistic perspective, we need to think a lot more about outcomes. Think about how the public will react when they read what you write.

If you write: "They test more so we see more infected", people will think: "Oh yeah, that makes sense. So everything is fine."
But if the rate of infected isn't going down as they increase the test level, then things are not fine. Instead, the public needs to do more to stop the virus ... but they are not doing this because you just reported that these numbers are not something we should worry about.
Read 15 tweets
3 Aug
Let me tell you a story about gender inequality, and how a big part of the problem starts with what we show to kids.

We will start with a Disney comic book from April 2020. The story is about the McDuck family finding some coins 'from the future'.
We are then transported into the future to see the future Senate, which is massively dominated by men.
Granted, women do speak, and you can see that Disney is trying to create gender equality ... but well...
Read 14 tweets
2 Aug
One of the things I'm shouting about to publishers is how we turned into the tobacco industry. What do I mean? Well, the tobacco industry was doing something that was clearly wrong, and so the legislators stepped in and demanded that they put a warning label on their products.
Now we see the same thing with publishers. The way we are violating people's privacy has caused the legislators to force us to put a warning label on our sites.

Just think about this. We have become the tobacco industry.
"But," every publisher is now yelling back at me, "It's not our fault. It's the ad tech industry, and we can't do anything about this."

Three things:
1. Yes, you can.
2: You are not even trying
3: You are still responsible for what happens on your site.
Read 11 tweets

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