The importance of paying attention and holding the humans in positions of power accountable has never been more vital. But you know what else is vital? Maintaining your personal health, and sometimes, that means disengaging from the toxic mess that is social media. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of email newsletters that are great for staying informed even after you've deactivated your social media accounts. It may be true that 62 percent of adults in the United States get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center — but you don't have to be one of them if you don't want to be.
Until last year, my understanding of newsletters was limited to the type-heavy, neon colored handouts the altar boys passed around after Mass during my school days. You used them for bake sale notices and gutter cleaning coupons, and then, later, for that school project you left until the last minute. But email newsletters, well-designed and overflowing with links and .GIFs and information on everything from contemporary Black fiction to the latest immigration protests, have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Why? Well, for one, they're a way around internet trolls.
In utilizing subscriber-only platforms like TinyLetter (to receive these newsletters is free, but you have to provide an email address, eliminating that whole "anonymous vigilante" horror-trend), writers have more freedom to express their opinions; in moving their publishing platform to email, they're unfettered by character counts or link limits. The result is, in many instances, a contemporary cultural critique that veers away from the mainline narrative. Or if you're a nerd like me, it's like a really cool, digital research paper complete with citations and a cover page. Either way, brighten your inbox with one or all of these. Stay strong and get to work.