We’ve all had the experience of feeling out of the loop. Maybe there’s a water cooler conversation about a topic you’ve never heard about, or maybe there’s a fashion trend you never quite figured out.
But for some of us, that “out of the loop” feeling is persistent. It feels like you’re always weeks, or months behind the latest, most popular developments. Sometimes, it feels like you’re completely in the dark about even the most important matters.
What can you do to keep up with the latest news and trends if you always feel this way?
Consult the Right News Sources
Step one is to consult the right news sources. Most of us exist in an echo chamber of our own making, only consulting a narrow range of sources that already seem to agree with our preconceived notions – that’s if we consult news sources at all.
Follow these helpful tips to establish a much better, more comprehensive series of news sources to read:
· Find Reputable Sources.
First, it’s important to find reputable sources. This includes media websites that take their journalistic integrity seriously and are willing to post retractions for things to get wrong. It also includes sources that are quick to report on matters and rarely ignore significant current events. This can be tough to do, especially in the modern era, when anyone can make their own website. Pay attention to the accolades of each source you consult and vet your sources carefully.
· Add Diverse new Sources.
Even if all of your news sources are properly vetted, you still might be reviewing only a narrow band of opinions. If you want to branch out and hear about more things, you’ll need to find new sources. NewsReports.com, for example, has an excellent mix of user-submitted articles on everything from tech to personal health. Some sites, like AntiWar.org, have a clearly dedicated niche. Consult a mix of generic and focused sources to broaden your intake.
· Bookmark and Index to give Equal Attention.
Bookmark your favorite sources or follow them on social media. Don’t just assume you’ll remember them in the future; it’s much better to keep them all in one place.
· Dedicate time to catching up. Spend a little time each day catching up on the news you may have missed; as little as 15 minutes of reading could introduce you to all the new topics you need to understand. The most important thing here is to be consistent, so you do a little bit each day.
Find and Follow the Trend Setters
Even the best news sources aren’t always on top of things. Subtle fashion trends, new slang terms, and cultural attitudes may never make the headlines. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to find and follow trendsetters – the people who always seem to be “in the loop.”
Here’s how you can do it:
· Attend Networking Events.
Make it a point to go out to networking events and find new people to meet. It’s a great way to flesh out your personal network and see how people interact with each other in person. Look for people who are outgoing and seem knowledgeable about the latest trends; these are some of the best people to have in your network.
· Find new People to Follow on Social Media.
You can also meet new people and expand the news you’re exposed to by following others on social media. Pay attention to how many followers they have and how often they post to get a feel or how influential and “plugged in” they are.
· Engage in Social Media Groups.
Similarly, you should follow new social media groups that are relevant to you and pay attention to what they post on a daily basis. This is especially good for discovering new developments in your industry or in some of your favorite hobbies. These niche groups tend to discover things faster than the general population.
· Watch for Early Adoption.
The most attentive and informed people tend to be early adopters of new technologies and new trends. Pay attention to these trendsetters and people ahead of the curve and watch them for new predictions and updates.
Cope With Being Out of the Loop
Finally, understand that there’s no real shame in being out of the loop. It pays to be an informed and conscientious consumer but missing out on a trend we’re not hearing about some political development probably won’t affect you personally unless you let it. In fact, desperately trying to keep up with anything and everything will likely end up stressing you out and causing more damage than simply not keeping up in the first place. Keep this in mind as you change your habits.