48-hour News Blackout

William Deresiewicz states in “The End of Solitude” that the culture of celebrity and connectivity revolves around the need to be recognized and visible. It is the act of being seen by others that satisfies the validation we crave and in the end it is how we become real to ourselves. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] I see myself agreeing with his argument because in today’s world what we do is highly concentrated around what people think. We find this to be extremely important because it is evident that we shape our thoughts and actions based on the opinions of others.

After completing the 48-hour blackout, I was extremely anxious to update myself on news, whether it was local, national, global, or even the weather. The first day of the blackout I had to constantly stop myself from checking the news as I normally do every morning. I had to stop notifications on my phone and laptop from popping up and informing me and I had to resist listening to the radio because it was a source of news. I ritually check the weather every morning before walking out the door because of the unpredictable Miami weather and not being able to know what to expect was stressful. [Instructions in class included avoiding social media because of news articles.]  [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] It became even more difficult when I logged onto Facebook because it was completely flooded with news stories and updates. Every social media account I logged into provided me with some type of news resulting in me having to drop social media as well for the blackout. I eventually found myself bored. I realized how accustomed I have become to receiving news subconsciously and how much of it is everywhere. Even when having conversations with others they’d bring up the latest news or talk about the weather and I’d have to excuse myself from the conversation.

According to Deresiewicz, solitude is what I would have felt but instead I found myself incredibly anxious not knowing what was happening around me. The blackout allowed me to realize just how important news is in my life and how much of a part it plays in my daily activities. I hadn’t realized in my daily routine how often I check for news, whether I do it intentionally or not. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Without a doubt, news is taken for granted. I found myself missing it and the comfort it provided me with because it gave me something to do, to read and to talk to others about. News is necessary and critical in our lives; it is not necessarily an intrusion of our solitude but instead more of an aide to make life better. News is what keeps us all up-to-date and able to function properly.

Although Deresiewicz stresses that solitude is something not easy to achieve but well worth achieving, I found myself anxious in nearing a state of solitude. It isn’t for everyone and it definitely isn’t for me. Having no news for 48 hours made me incredibly uneasy so I can only imagine what being truly alone to experience solitude would do to me.

 

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