1968 News Goes Social

After blowing through the 10 free articles per month that the New York Times allows, I finally signed up for a subscription during last year’s election. Since then I’ve enjoyed the quality writing, morning briefs and their NFL playoff simulator, to name a few features.

This article from last week got me thinking about how we consume media today compared to years past, and whether or not we’re better off now than we were in 1968, for instance. Back then, we used to have to wait until the evening news or the morning paper to find out what was happening in the world. We now rely on instant notifications from our phones to keep us up to speed.

I’m a huge advocate of keeping notifications to an absolute minimum on both your phone and your computer, to avoid distractions and focus on what you’re doing. One of the few exceptions for me is the New York Times news alerts. They’re smart, timely and are never too much.

That’s why I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive elements in this article. There are four sections throughout the piece that simulate notifications of news as if it was 1968. You can click on any of these to view the actual articles from 1968 in the Times Machine, which has over 150 years of journalism as it originally appeared.

Is the way we consume media nowadays better or worse then it was before phones and computers? Maybe, maybe not. I think time will help answer that question. In the meantime, I think we can all agree that scaling back on the number of times your phone beeps and buzzes throughout the day will help us all focus on the important things in life, including the news of what happened in the world today.