If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably been buried in an avalanche of coronavirus and COVID-19-related news the past few weeks.
It’s easy to get sucked into the nonstop march of stories, but did you know it can be damaging to your mental health to follow too closely? Tap or click here to discover an app that can improve your mental health and well-being.
Staying informed is important, but nobody should have to sacrifice their sanity to be up-to-speed with the latest news. Instead, here’s how you can set up alerts for your phone so you can put it down without missing the most critical updates.
Reliable sources, reliable updates
Following the coronavirus pandemic can be a painful endeavor. Not only are these stories brutal to read, but many are still rife with outdated or intentionally bad information. Tap or click to see some of the most common fake virus stories.
At the same time, it’s still possible to follow the news without going down a depressing rabbit hole. Setting up news alerts for your phone will allow you to go on with your life without missing important updates and announcements.
Here are some of the best sources you should subscribe to if you wan’t to stay informed.
Twitter updates from verified accounts
Twitter is one of the fastest ways to get news as it happens. Unfortunately, the light speed nature of the platform makes it easy for fake news to spread. The key here is to know which accounts to follow.
You can get notifications from specific accounts by tapping on the bell icon on a user’s profile. This is located right next to the Following button. If you select All Tweets from the drop-down menu, you’ll get notifications every time the account posts something new.
Make sure the accounts you choose to subscribe to are reliable sources that provide real-time updates and news over color commentary. Tap or click to see more Twitter accounts you should follow during the crisis.
It’s also worth enabling emergency alerts through Twitter so local and government notices can reach your phone. Open the app >> Settings >> Notification Settings >> Notifications >> SMS Notifications >> toggle Crisis and emergency alerts on. Now, any alerts will appear as notifications on your lockscreen.
Go for Google
Google Search is taking a strong stance against fighting coronavirus disinformation. And as an additional service, you can have Google alert you about updates to specific topics like coronavirus and COVID-19.
To set this up, go to Google Alerts and type in the topic you want to subscribe to. Then adjust the notification preferences and click Create Alert to finish the process. You can adjust alert frequency at any time.
iPhones and Apple Watches can automatically alert you to emergency, public safety and government alerts right out of the box. All you have to do is make sure the setting is enabled on your device.
To turn on these alerts, go to Settings >> Notifications. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and activate both Emergency Alerts and Public Safety Alerts. These alerts will be automatically pushed by authorities during times of crisis.
Bonus: News apps can make it easy
Nearly every national and local paper has an app you can download to keep up with the news.
When you download an app like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times or USA Today, you’ll see a popup the moment you start the program asking if you want to enable notifications. Tap Yes and you’ll be set up and ready to go.
But keep in mind: Don’t overdo your alerts. Pick and choose a few trusted sources to rely on, so your phone isn’t constantly bombarded with updates.
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