Acknowledging My Digital Routine

Entry for Monday, 1/18/11
Subjects: Inspiration, Communication, and Education

There are several websites I visit on a daily basis via my MacBook and/or desktop PC. They are listed below in no particular order and some I am more proud to admit than others. These are NOT the five websites I chose to analyze for the course homework assignment, however.  This list also does not include apps that I visit on my iPhone (like Huffingtonpost.com, Time.com, Newsweek.com, Twitter, to name a few). It’s interesting to see which digital slices of the world I’ve chosen to incorporate into my daily news gathering and entertainment routine. It’s also wild to consider how far we’ve come digitally speaking. I’ve spent half of my life online. My family got a computer with dial-up access to the internet in 1994, and in the grand scheme of history, that is not that long ago. The generation after mine grew up experiencing a “connected” world and had no idea what life was like B.C. or “before computers!”

The New York Times: “Breaking News, World News, and Multimedia.” Nicknamed “The Gray Lady” and regarded as “the paper of record,” this is my go-to source for news when I start my day. I’m proud to say that during my fledgling journalist days, I worked for the New York Times Company and had my paychecks signed by Mr. Sulzberger himself! I used to get delivery of the Sunday print edition, and find myself in an ethical quandary every time I sign in online. There is something to be said about the ritual of poring over the morning paper, inhaling the fresh ink smell, smearing the ink on your hands, and drinking the morning cup of coffee with breakfast. My best friends are working journalists, so I feel obligated to buy physical papers, but with all that, I digress. My iPad enjoys the digital version – what can I say!

The Washington Post: “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.” While my formative years were spent in Houston, I was born in the Beltway (Holy Cross Hospital) and consider the DC Metro area my home. Given that, this is my second source of daily news. My family still gets the print edition delivered to their house daily. There’s nothing like getting a newspaper clipping in the mail from my mother with a message scrawled on an attached Post-it Note. It’s a great source for political and local news and I most enjoy their op-eds. My resume is also posted in their jobs section (“DC’s #1 Source for Jobs”).

Gmail“A Google approach to email.” When working from home, I’m usually logged on to this website all day. Sometimes I keep the chat feature visible so that I can contact friends. After being “invited” by my brother in 2005, I abandoned my Hotmail.com account and never looked back. It even comes with 7542 MB of space!

Other sites I frequent include, but are not limited to:

Alright… Now for the Fluff!

FacebookTouted as a “social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.” I think of it as a necessary evil and remind myself on the regular that there was life before the site launched in 2004. It was originally meant for people who were in college and a college email address was an initial requirement. Now everyone and their mother has a page (even mine, and yes, she’s my friend). I’ve been known to take breaks from it from time to time, but “deactivating your account” is not permanent. Like a drug addict to a dealer, it’s always there and knows you’ll come back one day! All you have to do is visit the site, enter your login information, and *poof* it’s like you were never gone. It’s scary if you think about it. The main reason I keep coming back is because “all my friends are doing it” and it’s really the only way – this day in age – to keep up with the Jones’ if you know what I mean! It’s a catchall for invites, birthday reminders, and picture sharing.

Hulu & Netflix“Watch Your Favorites. Anytime. For Free.” This is how I watch television. It’s a uncommon occurrence – almost as rare as catching a glimpse of Loch Ness or a UFO – that you find me in front of a television set (I don’t care how HD it is!). This is television and movie-watching on my terms. Hulu is free for the most part and I pay a nominal monthly fee for Netflix.

Gawker: “Gossip from Manhattan to the Beltway to Hollywood and the Valley.” I started visiting this blog while interning at Rolling Stone magazine in New York City. It’s a delightful distraction from regular news sites and I find myself sharing links from this site on the regular.

Jezebel“Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.” It’s a cheeky, humorous, and informative blog. Believe it or not, there’s more than just celebrity gossip. If I don’t visit this site at least once every other day, I go through “sass” withdrawal. It’s apart of the “Gawker” family. As an assertive, educated woman of the 21st century, I’m proud to support this website.