Did Farhad "Unplug"?
Last week we spoke with New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo after he published an article titled, “For two months, I got my news from print newspapers. Here’s what I learned.” He wrote that, earlier this year, "after the breaking-newsiest year in recent memory, I decided to travel back in time. I turned off my digital news notifications, unplugged from Twitter and other social networks, and subscribed to home delivery of three print newspapers.” It was a crash diet. Lots of healthy analog, and just a little digital — podcasts, email newsletters — for dessert.
Farhad found the experience so uplifting and liberating that he was moved to evangelize. He told Bob during their conversation, which you can still listen to, "I boiled it down into three Michael Pollan-esque prescriptions: Get news, not too quick, avoid social."
The only problem was, according to analysis by Dan Mitchell in the Columbia Journalism Review and Joshua Benton of Harvard’s Neiman Lab, Farhad spent most of his 48-day diet sneaking into the fridge. In the time that he was supposedly “unplugged” from Twitter news, he had tweeted hundreds and hundreds of times. Not the crime of the century — but still, oops.
And so Farhad spoke with Bob once more, to explain his rather involved definition of the word "unplugged," and to admit that old habits die hard.