Why RSS Is Superior to a Social Media Feed for Information

Published: 2021.01.09

These days it's all too common for people to get most, if not all, of their news and information from their social media feed. This is dangerous as it not only amplifies stupidity rewarding click-bait headlines and outrage culture with engagement, but it also creates an atmosphere of tribalism where people are yelling at on another and simply being outright mean. The content is often driven by algorithms with the intention of keeping on the platform longer to serve you more ads. I don't know about everyone else, but my time is valuable.

If you've used the internet for a while you might be familiar with this icon.

RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication) is an alternative to the chaotic and emotionally charged feed that's more often than not filled with exaggerated headlines and misinformation. It allows us to decentralize the aggregation of the content we subscribe to. To me, social media is the equivalent of junk food for your brain and it's time we take a closer look at our information diet. RSS is basically a web feed which allows you to access updates and content from websites without having to actually visit that website. This includes blogs, news sites, podcasts, and even YouTube videos and tweets (with the right tool). Essentially, it provides you the conscious decision about where your sources of information come from and ultimately what type of content reaches your eyeballs, your brain, and therefore your attention.

Here's a few reasons in a bulleted list:

I very rarely go directly to a website for content anymore and my RSS reader made ditching social media so much easier. Personally, I use newsboat which is a terminal application for Linux. However Feedreader is a great RSS reader for Windows and Linux if you want something with a nice GUI.

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