48-Hour News Blackout – Jennifer

Who knew that entering a phase of complete solitude could open your eyes to the actual wonders of reality. Disconnecting myself from all sorts of news for 48 hours was difficult but doable. Often I found myself reaching over for my phone, computer or TV to catch up on the latest news, gossip or weather forecasts. The hardest part of experiencing the blackout was avoiding my parents who consistently brought up the latest news that might have been relevant at the time. In this blackout period, FULL NAME Deresiewicz’s statements were always popping up in my head. He states that “technology has taken away our privacy and our concentration and our ability to be alone.” I could not agree more with this. In my time of solitude, I found myself reading books as I usually do at night, but during the day I became lonely. I wanted to go back to my technological news and catch up with the world. Sitting down at a red light or waiting patiently in the doctor’s room became dull and distressing. I realized that even in moments where I wasn’t sitting still such as going for a run, I still turned on my Spotify and listening to music or called my mother to keep me company. This modern society we live in has become dependent on technology. It was a shocking surprise to how aware I was of my surroundings when I put down all gadgets and spent time alone.

By the second day, I became present, I was in living in the moment as one should. I still struggled with getting off my computer as I was constantly checking fashion blogs, YouTube videos and occasionally switching back and forth between Gmail and FIU’s web page to entertain myself. This is where I think of Deresiewicz, in his article, he states that “the internet is a powerful machine for the production of loneliness as television is for the manufacture of boredom.” This goes back to my statement on switching between web pages just for the fact of being on the internet due to loneliness. It is a terrible feeling and unfortunately, as a digital society, it is the generation in which we live in. GOOD. To fill the gaps at night was easy, I indulged in a book for hours and wasn’t even concerned with looking at my phone. During the day was a bit more difficult, I tried to use my time wisely by catching up on homework, writing in my journal or working on my personal blog. I found this to be the easiest way to “pass the time.”

I would like to state that this period of solitude made me quite anxious in the sense that I was oblivious to world news and for some reason, I did not enjoy the feeling of not relating to the world and what was going on. The news is important but to a certain extent. Solitude on the other hand is vital to living a more peaceful and present life.

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