News Blackout

In “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, he explains how culture of celebrity is creating connectivity allowing us to become recognized, visible and known. We seek validation from others; this is obvious in today’s day in age. People cannot miss posting a picture of where they went, check into their location, and spend their day consistently checking back to see how many likes and popularity their post has gained. The text says “we want to be seen by others”. I am guilty of this myself. [good insight]

I expected a 48-hour news blackout to be easy; however, I had not realized how news surrounds us almost everywhere we go, any time we talk to someone, or anytime I open up my laptop or phone. I assumed this would be a simple task because I’m not one to watch television on a regular basis, neither do I listen to the radio given that I usually plug in my phone in the car. I typically get my news from the internet, so I figured if I just steer clear of news sites I will be set.

The first challenge I faced was Friday morning. To my dismay, I was in for a rude awakening upon stepping outside the door. It was well below the typical Miami weather. I had to go back in to bundle up a bit. The next problem I had was opening up my Mac Book on Friday afternoon. I had a notification from CNN saying “Breaking News”. I immediately tried to get rid of the notification, but it was too late; it had already redirected me to opening a page on Safari but I tried to quit the application as fast as I could so I can avoid catching a glimpse. Later that day, walking through GC on campus, the television in the GC pit was turned on, tuned into a news channel and I had to immediately sprint away from the area. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

By Saturday afternoon, I was out of contact with the world; I could not connect with those around me on the same level.  I couldn’t send text messages to my friend because news is usually a topic of conversation. Eventually, when my friend Melissa texted me, she sent a funny picture that was a pun to one of the news that happened recently; however, I wasn’t able to understand to joke given the 48-hour news blackout. At this point is where I felt the most solitude. [How do these feelings relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

All in all, this 48-hour black out was more challenging than expected. We are surrounded by news everywhere we go, everyone we come in contact with, and even on social media. There was a sense of isolation trying to avoid topics of conversation amongst my close friends and family. It was a challenge trying to avoid Facebook and social medias where news is frequently shared. News keeps us up to date and in the loop with our surroundings, without it we experience solitude. [How might you act on these insights? How might your media consumption change?]

 

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