48-hour news blackout


The 48-hour disconnect from all news gave me an understanding, of the world around me and time to self-reflect. FULL NAME Deresiewicz argues that, “solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”  To this notion Deresiewicz is correct. In my solitude initially I expected to feel anxious, because of the influence news has on my everyday routine and in my household. Instead it awakened me to observe and analyze the values I care for. Also to see myself apart from society, and limit the hold digital information has upon me. In his essay Deresiewicz speaks on the influence of digital information and its importance in society. He argues that the goal of individuals now, is to be seen as a digital media celebrity. He also mentions that today individual’s biggest fear, is loneliness and our self-esteem is defined by our visibility.

I can relate to this argument because in my solitude, my connections with my friends, co-workers and family members were limited. Before the 48-hour blackout I was able to connect with these individuals through, our shared appreciation and connection with cable news stories or web news sites. Without this connection between us I experienced some degree of boredom during the day. This feeling of boredom led me to self-reflect and examine, my values and connection to the world.  To fill the void of solitude I decided to get involved, in social activities that I used to find tedious. Such as exercising, reading, scrapbooking and karaoke. These activities allowed me to think beyond the influence of technology and rediscover, the clarity that comes with solitude.

It was interesting to me to see how much I relied on digital information, to make everyday decisions. For example I use cable news to update me on weather forecasts, which determine whether I’m going to need an umbrella for the day. Or the proper clothes I need to wear for a rainy or sunny day. Since I was disconnected from cable news for the blackout, unfortunately I was caught in a terrible rainstorm this week. Another example is when I was talking with my grandmother, and she mentioned a story she saw in the news. Apparently a gymnastics coach was sexually abusing his students for years, and the girls told their stories of the abuse. My grandmother asked me did I see this, and I told her I didn’t. She then responded, “Girl, you need to watch the news every day.” These are examples of why digital information such as the news, isn’t inferior in our society.

It is a necessary intrusion of our solitude because, it enables us to seek out the world around us and analyze the situations that effect the world we inhabit. In other ways news creates more solitude because we are forced to be left alone to analyze, the images we are exposed to and how they affect our lives. After the blackout I determined that there has to be a medium, between both digital information and solitude. Both are a key to the way individuals connect with themselves and the world.



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