48 -Hour News Blackout

FULL NAME Deresiewicz maintains that our society has a dependency on connectivity and thrives on the concept of celebrity; the way I communicate with people I know makes me part of this culture. NOTICE HOW A CHANGE OF PUNCUTATION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN CLARIFYINIG A THESIS STATEMENT I automatically contact someone by sending a text message or commenting on a social media post. The fact is, our busy day-to-day activities call for instant and convenient means of contact throughout the day. As for the culture of celebrity, our society is obsessed with it. In my case, I associate the amount of “likes” I get on a social media post with my ability to come across as appealing to my peers. On the word of Deresiewicz, “Visibility [in fact] secures our self-esteem.” We rely on this feeling to affect our own behaviors as well as our perceptions of ourselves and of others.

The 48-hour news blackout made me realize how I depend on new information. In truth, I do not keep up with the daily news via news channels or sites. I acquire information by listening to the radio and perusing newspapers and magazines’ Facebook posts. Purposefully avoiding this information was a challenge. On one hand, it was slightly unnerving not being able to access the information that I avidly rely on, as it has become a ritual to listen to the radio on the way to work or periodically scroll through my timeline to check for updates. Nonetheless, not being able perform these “rituals” mainly evoked more resourcefulness in me. I took the opportunity to seek inspiration for my arts and crafts as well as readily focus on my studies with less distractions. I accordingly filled the gaps by substituting my time with these activities. The 48-hour news blackout allowed me to welcome a sense of solitude, as per Deresiewicz. Though it was a partially uneasy feeling to avoid news, it was mainly liberating not having to concern myself with the next big thing. Gone was the pressure to constantly be in the know with the latest headlines and topics.

News gives me a sense of belonging in society because I find comfort in knowing the same information as those around me. Tuning into what’s trending gives people something to talk about at the dinner table or with friends. We take this for granted because checking our phones, the TV, or the internet for news has become a habitual (rather instinctual) exercise which we don’t think twice about doing. So much so, that we tailor many of our activities to tuning into the news. It is not until it is unavailable to us that we realize how much we depend on it. In a sense, news is a necessary intrusion of our solitude because it makes us aware of events which we formulate an opinion on and are the subject of our conversations with others. It may momentarily create solitude by making us think for ourselves, but we then share our opinions with our peers and lose the sense of solidarity.

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