How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts, and the literary world to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Drew Magary, Deadspin/Gawker columnist, GQ correspondent, and author of The Postmortal.
I have a shit phone. I have one of those free LG phones they give you when you sign up for Verizon, so I have nothing to look at. It's idiotic on my part. I have a phone, a Flip camera, a regular camera, a voice recorder, an iPod, and a GPS thing. I could have an iPhone and get rid of all that shit, but instead I'm walking around with six black things in my cargo shorts. Anyway, when I get up in the morning, I have to turn the TV on so that the kids are occupied while I step into the office and check email and Twitter. I always check Twitter replies first, because I value people replying to me far more than learning about world events, and that makes me horrible. (I don't tweet my weight as often as I used to, but when I do these days I usually try to include a link to something unrelated so that the tweet isn't just self-serving douchebaggery.) Then I check email. And then I check the now defunct NBC Tumblr feed that I used to run. I don't post at it anymore, but whoever started it subscribed to like 900 other feeds, so there's always something random. One of the feeds is this crazy lady who cyberstalks Sara Ramirez. She posts 36-panel gifs of Sara Ramirez smiling and then tags it with stuff like LIFE RUINER EXTRAORDINAIRE and SIMPLY GORGEOUS. That stalker terrifies me.
I tend to look at the same shit all day long, just Twitter and Tumblr. Sometimes I check Gawker and Deadspin proper to make sure I haven't missed anything. I go into the Deadspin dash a lot to read shit that hasn't been posted yet. But outside of that, I rarely venture out into the Internet outback. I try not to waste too much time because I usually have work to do.
On TV, I watch 60 Minutes and Colbert, and pretty much no other news program, unless someone dies or something and I want to check out one of the cable news channels. Then I flip to CNN or Fox or whatever and I'm like, "What the fuck am I doing? These channels are worthless." Then I just go check the Internet instead. At the gym, I read Entertainment Weekly and whatever copies of Time or Newsweek happen to be lying around, even though Newsweek is pretty much unbearable. I also read GQ when it comes in the mail every month. Because it's perfect bound, I have to use it on certain types of cardio equipment or else the shit won't stay open. But it's way better than the other magazines I read. I'm a good company man like that.
But for the majority of my news, it's all Twitter all the time. Lots of major outlets (GQ, Vulture, Gawker, New Yorker), with other reliable friends mixed in, like Spencer Hall. I never use Facebook because the layout is shit. Facebook is the North Korea of social media. Everything looks the same. The layout essentially sucks the life out of all the content. I hate it. I use Gchat mostly for work. [Deadspin Editor Tommy] Craggs and I can sort out posts quickly using a simple Gchat. I used to listen to music while writing but I can't do it anymore.
I watch TV—Mad Men, Colbert, Parks and Rec, Chopped, Modern Family, Louie, the usual—but the kids often prevent me from seeing movies I should probably see. Stupid kids. While the kids are winding down, I steal glances at my email all the time. I can't help it. The shit is right there. My wife used to gimme the stinkeye for it but now she does it too. WE'RE NOT MADE OF STONE. If I'm not tired before bed, I'll read a book. But I'm not one of these people who makes a concerted effort to spend time away from email or something. I tried that once and it annoyed me. You can have a peaceful day and still check your email ten times.
I should probably buy a smartphone.