News Blackout

“For no man is a prophet on his own land,” says Deresiewicz as this blackout experience to me was similar to this quote. My land, my home that I am comfortable in, is one where I have easy access to the world around me. To freight and scurry away at the mere mention of current social politics and world events is not a land I’m familiar with – which is exactly what happened this week while purging from all things news.

Deresiewicz’ argument of celebrity and connectivity relates directly to me, as well as to most of my generation. The Millennial generation was born during a time of technological progress and advancement; we have been connected to the outside world since the day we were born. Specifically in my case, the intertwined culture of connectivity and celebrity is madly important as I’m seeking a career in the world of connectivity. To be linked, I must be aware of ongoing social changes and to create work that can be sustained by validation. [Relate to McLuhan’s saying, “The medium is the message.”] 

From the basics of connectivity, my entire life has been attached through ever-evolving social mediums like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. All of these channels have one relating feature, the need for validation. Posting a photo on Instagram, for example, is the quickest way my generation can “get a quick fix” of feeling real to ourselves, like we’re important.

I’d like to believe that I can pull away from my daily life surrounded by technology and experience the solitude Deresiewicz explains, but have I ever felt the solitude of what true mental silence is? Sure, I can close my eyes for a couple of minutes while baking in the sun, but is that as far as my solitude goes until I’m reaching for the phone to take a picture of the beach and posting it to my social channels? Am I really somewhere, alone, unless I record it? I’ve thought about how I am able to be physically alone and be in my thoughts, but a lot of those times it’s short lived until the next red light. [good insights]

News is imperative to society because it’s a form of education, and as humans we are generally in search of further intellect. To sit in idleness is to be in a perpetual cycle of boredom. News is important for that is how we continue to stay connected and be aware of worldly events. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises about boredom in his essay?] 

This project allowed me to realize that the news we hear or read isn’t only telling us what to think about, but what we need to think about. Without staying connected, we’re only associated to the tinier worlds of what our acquaintances ate for lunch. News doesn’t particularly promote solitude, as it does promote more connectivity. Thinking for ourselves is thrown out the window when being transfixed on what the news is molding our thoughts to be. [good insight]

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