48-Hour News Blackout

I began my 48-hour blackout Saturday night after having read a New York Times article titled, “How Can We Get Rid of Trump?”. I realized this would be difficult time to shut myself out of all media and news because of everything going in the political world, but did not feel any anxiety or nerves before disconnecting.

On early Sunday morning, I found myself already in need of some kind of sustainable, factual information that normally only reading the news would usually aid me with; [colon,  not semicolon] the weather. I had planned a family pool day at my condo weeks in advance, but when I looked outside that morning, the sky was overcast. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] I immediately began to feel the annoyance effect of having limited access to information, panicking as I held myself back from asking the family if they thought it would rain. [How do these feelings relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] On any other day, I would not have even thought twice before opening the weather app on my phone. Such simple information that is available to us on the daily was so necessary, that the lack of a simple weather forecast could ruin a whole day for me and my family.

As the day progressed, I realized just how much I used every day news and celebrity gossip to make conversation. There is a handle I follow on Instagram called @theshaderoom. Usually when I’m bored, or as William Deresiewicz would rather state, when I’m “afraid to be bored”, I’ll check in with @theshaderoom and see what’s the latest gossip and celebrity news. What I didn’t notice before the blackout, however, is how important these unimportant news had become in my life. [good insight] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] During lunch time on Sunday, I found myself with no topic of conversation. I realized that most of my rants and small talk come from not only the political and world news, but unimportant news and events that I fill myself with daily as well. By doing this, I could see that the news I received didn’t have to necessarily be important, but rather I MADE them important by reading and sharing them daily. [good insight]

As I reached the second half of my news blackout, I began to feel the effects of isolation and what us millennials like to refer to as “FOMO”: Fear Of Missing Out. Although I had my family around the whole weekend, I still felt like I was missing out on if not something, everything. I didn’t know what the weather was going to be like, I didn’t know how much Trump had managed to screw up in the last 24 hours, I didn’t even know if the Heat had won their home game. I’ve been so conditioned to having all this information at my fingertips that I didn’t realize how much of it I use to make every day decisions and how much of it is in the context of my day to day communications. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Deresiewicz states that the news is an intrusion of our solitude, and during this experience I must agree with him to a certain degree. We need the news to help us with our decision making, because as David Brooks states, it is heavily influenced by our social context of every day life. Limited connectivity with these sources left me feeling disconnected and not up to date. I can only describe my experience as a 48 hour state of limbo as I waited eagerly to be reconnected current world again. [good insight]


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