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January 28, 2017

Your smartphone is the key to democracy

by John_A

Get involved and stay informed. The device that’s already in your pocket is all you need.


Here’s the deal: You won’t enact change by simply posting news articles to Facebook and arguing with people on Twitter. That’s a waste of time. Instead, your best bet is to stay informed and encourage others to do the same. That’s incredibly easy to do with the smartphone you’re already equipped with.

It doesn’t matter which way you lean. The technology in your hand is constantly connected, so unless you’re living life in Airplane Mode, get yourself set up with the apps mentioned here and start paying attention to what’s happening to the world you live in.

Set up a news ticker


I don’t have much room on my 32GB Pixel XL — app sizes have really increased these days, haven’t they? — so I typically only have one news-centric app on me. Google News and Weather was revamped a while ago and it’s still my go-to for checking up on the day’s events. I like that I can choose my news sources, both by region and by source. And if I’m having a particularly busy day at work, the important news notifications keep me up to par on, you know, disasters. Like tornadoes.

Download Google News and Weather (free)

Stay privy to what’s going down


Countable is the only other app I allow to ping me as often as it does because there are things happening that I should know about. Those things — house and senate bills, to be specific — are voted on by people we’ve elected. You can tell them what you think about things with Countable, as well as dive into both sides of the argument. There’s also a sharing option if you want to rally friends to contact Congress, too.

Download Countable (free)

Tune in


Commuting to and from work can be a great time to edify yourself of global affairs? I use TuneIn to catch radio broadcasts from around my state, around the country, and around the world. I’ll tune in to WNYC to get a glimpse at what’s happening on the opposite coast and, since I’m bilingual, I’ll tune in to Romanian radio to hear what the pundits are chattering about overseas. TuneIn isn’t just for radio stations, either. You can also use it to listen to podcasts or books on tape.

Download TuneIn (free)

Your turn

How do you stay in the know with what’s happening in the world? Do you have any apps or services you like to use that keep you connected to what’s going on outside of your daily bubble? Let us know!

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