People are dying to get back outside and away from their screens as COVID-19 restrictions ease and society slowly returns to normal. With that in mind, it’s fine to take breaks from the often overwhelming online news cycle.
But you can’t totally tune out. Our tools are here to help you efficiently stay in the loop while enjoying a happy and healthy summer.
Tip 1: Take 15 and 15
Take 15 minutes at the beginning and end of your day to get your news. Don’t look at news much during work. Give yourself plenty of time to finish your tasks and minimize distraction, and then check back in quickly in the evening.
How To Do It: → AllSides posts Headline Roundups every weekday morning and evening, and our weekly Story of the Week newsletter gives you a digestible rundown of the week’s top stories from the left, center and right.
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Tip 2: Connect by having conversations across divides
We welcome the shift away from Zoom calls back to face-to-face interactions. Catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while, but don’t get stuck in a bubble. Seek out productive conversations across divides. These talks are a great way to stay updated on the different stories and subjects that matter to your loved ones and your community — without you having to follow the news too strenuously.
How To Do It: → Our conversation partner, Living Room Conversations, provides conversation guides to get the juices flowing for productive discourse. And if you’re living in a bubble of like-minded people and want to meet those from the other side, join a virtual AllSides Talks™ event.
Tip 3: Check the fact checkers
Sometimes fact checkers agree, sometimes they don’t. Use tools to help you quickly get the facts without staying glued to your screen all day.
How To Do It: → Compare fact checks across the spectrum with the AllSides Facts and Fact Checking Portal, updated daily.
Tip 4: Avoid search engine bias
Search engines save lots of time — they can also feed you one-sided news and views.
How To Do It: → Our Balanced Search tool saves you time AND instantly returns the most recent results from left, right and center. So if our newsfeed hasn’t covered the story yet, you can still find it here.
Tip 5: Download news apps
News apps might be the quickest and most efficient way to engage with the day’s events digitally. Instead of carving out time to browse the web on your computer or watch a newscast on TV, save time by controlling the news at your fingertips.
How To Do It: → The AllSides mobile app brings our balanced newsfeed, Topics pages, Balanced Search technology and more right to your phone.
Tip 6: Learn to spot types of media bias
When we read the news, sometimes distortion is so subtle, it slips by us undetected. Being able to quickly spot bias can help you to avoid partisan manipulation.
How To Do It: → Use our 11 Types of Media Bias resource guide to learn how bias manifests. Learn about spin, slant, sensationalism, and other types of bias that can cloud our view.
Don’t feel bad about taking a news break this summer, but don’t tune out completely. AllSides tools and services are built to help you find the info you need quickly and comprehensively.
So sit back, throw your shades on, and know that when you want to check in on the news, we’ll be here!
Henry A. Brechter is the managing editor of allsides.com. He has a Center bias.