As a politics major, I feel obligated to mention that being politically informed is just plain important. Most of your day-to-day life owes itself to politics. Whether or not the highway is paved is political, whether or not your dad calls himself a feminist is political, and of course, all of the best TV shows are political. Since politics is everywhere, it helps to keep up with it. Or at the very least, to keep up with it superficially.
Now that I have made my case, here are 5 ways to help you stay up on your worldly news in under 5 minutes, aka less time than it takes to eat your breakfast cereal in the morning.
1. Sign up for theskimm.
Theskimm is a daily newsletter that takes 4 minutes to read, tops. The newsletter starts off with a fun quote that references a political/pop-culture/otherwise important world event. Then, it moves on to news, next to developing or ongoing stories. The third section is titled “Repeat After Me,” which links sassy things you can say to your friends with current news stories. The letter ends with a fun fact or term that--you guessed it--also ties into a political event. These links are the genius of the newsletter--it is so fun, it tricks you into reading it!
2. Set your homepage to The New York Times.
The Times is one of the best English newspapers in the world. In my opinion, it owes this distinction to the fact that its front page manages to cover all the major political events in one fell swoop. Another one of The Times’ best features is that, after 10 articles, it cuts you off (unless you buy a subscription). So if you try to be too politically informed, it will curb your obsession. Having The Times as your homepage is a great way to stay up to date without breaking the cloud of mystery that shrouds the finer details of political events.
3. Pick a news app (CNN or BCC will do), download it, and turn the notifications on.
Think of how many times you check your phone. What if, every time you checked your phone, you could briefly glance at the day’s news? This is the advantage of news apps. You will not even notice that, between texts and Tinder messages, CNN has kept you totally informed on everything from domestic metropolitan policy to what Saudi Arabia’s King Salman did last summer.
4. Like The Washington Post and New York Magazine on Facebook.
They post frequently, and offer a great mix of fact-based news, op-eds, and not-technically-news-but-still-interesting stories. The Post makes good use of graphics and charts, and NYMag keeps many of their articles short and to the point. Put them together, and a well-rounded scholar you will be.