Media Abstinence


"If the thought of missing the nightly news gives you hives, you are probably going to throw what is coming in this post out of your mind’s window immediately.  I am going to tell you once again that less is more...less media, that is.

I grew up with the news on from 5 PM to when the game shows came on at 6:30.  We didn’t often miss a broadcast.  When I was in my own home, I slowly stopped watching the news.  I was too poor to afford a newspaper, and I didn’t use the internet until my later years of college.

In transferring into a low information diet, something occurred.  I stopped having a battle with anxiety over world events and local atrocities.  I was more peaceful, and I was less informed.

The major stories always got to me, but I got blurbs instead of in-depth reporting.  My stomach didn’t churn, I didn’t fret as I walked across the parking lot to my car, and as I weaned myself from media that focused on the celebrity realm, a really wonderful thing happened.

I lost track of who is who in Hollywood.  I know a few names now, but many of the newcomers escape my notice.  I don’t care, and I know that they never cared about me.  Their lives are not as interesting to me as my own.  I care about my own story, my own pursuits, and I could care less about what Miss Thing was wearing when she walked out of her Bel-Air home and went to the gym.

Am I a little hard to talk to at the water cooler at work?  Yes.  But, I can hold a conversation about other things, lots of things.  Minimalism for sure, modern art for another, cycling for yet another, and then there is always swapping stories about misspent youth with my friends and patients.

So, do I feel deprived?  No.  Again, no.  I feel really fortunate to be where I am.  If the balloon goes up, I will find out just slightly after everyone else, and will have the same end as someone watching the banners on the news channels.  

But, I listen.  I keep my ears open for what does come to me.  I ponder it, savor it, and what I don’t dismiss rests in my mind and simmers there.  I watch events in my environment with interest.  

To me, a little media abstinence is a good thing.  We don’t even get local channels in our house.  We don’t get the paper.  We are online and I visit Yahoo every now and again.  I don’t spend my time upset.  I am not obsessed with what the stars are doing.  And, I really like it that way."

That was written in 2014.  I do see more news now on social media feeds than I used to, but we still don't have a TV that gets any local channels, and when I stay away from media these days, my world feels more serene and peaceful in my quiet corner.  Good advice, still.  And, I know even fewer celebrities now!


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