48-Hour News Blackout

By: Samantha Atherley Team 5

The shear [SP: sheer] terror that came across my face when this 48 hours news blackout was assigned was priceless. Since I never watch cable news and just began to read the NY Times regularly, my initial thought was that this assignment really wasn’t going to be that difficult. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] However, the panic set in right when I realized that this blackout also meant no social media platforms. I receive most of my news from the information I see on social media such as tweets and Facebook posts. I immediately knew that two days of being removed from social media was going to be a tough act to follow.

I began my blackout by deleting all of my social media apps including the weather channel. Immediately the sense of panic hit in when I couldn’t post a Snapchat of the beautiful avocado toast I had prepared for breakfast that morning. It began to dawn on me that I was constantly seeking views and approval from my followers for every mundane activity in my life. [good insight] Even though I was home alone cooking breakfast, I had never truly felt alone until the day came where I couldn’t share my daily life online. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Snapchat gives me a place where I can constantly stay informed on other people’s whereabouts and expose my own. This realization made me think about how Deresiewicz’s idea of our society’s culture of celebrity is an accurate description of the modern world. In an odd way, every day I strive to achieve a mini level [hyphenate] of stardom by having as many people as possible view my snapchats.

Furthermore, as a writer for an online publication called Her Campus FIU, this blackout proved exceedingly difficult when I couldn’t even go on my own site to check out our content. I also found myself unable to check our organization’s group chat where we constantly pitch article ideas for the site. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Accordingly, a quote from Deresiewicz where he discusses how “solitude isn’t easy, and isn’t for everyone” related to my current situation. As a communications student, being placed in news solitude is a challenge. A career in communications means being consistently connected with people and what’s going on around the world. The idea of solitude isn’t an ideal situation for my career.

All in all, this news cleanse gave me a new perspective on how distracting the news and technology is in my daily life. Usually, I tend to find myself constantly worried about the information being spread online. I always find myself checking my phone for new tweets and posts. Without, the distraction of news I was able to buckle down and read my politics book for class. This experience made me agree with Deresiewicz’s claim discussing how technology takes away our concentration. Our constant desire to know new information can intrude on our private lives and the clarity of our minds. [good insight]


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