News Blackout – Amanda Vega

Solitude is often something taken for granted, as Deresiewicz writes in his essay “The End of Solitude”. Experiencing solitude is a rare case in today’s world because being alone is seen as weakness. We have created social media to fill an imaginary void. A void that was once useful in attuning to one’s self. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] For me personally, being alone and in solitude is my safe place. I have a predilection for being by myself, especially after a day of being surrounded by others. As a result, this assignment did not seem disconcerting for me.

Thankfully, I had 48 hours this week where I had no prior obligations. I was able to rid myself of all news and social interaction at this time. I should elucidate at this point that it has been only recently that I started reading the news. Partly because this course requires it, but mainly because I have been increasingly socially aware. Subsequently, it was not burdensome to revert back to my “no-news” days.

I found giving up Facebook and Twitter for these 48 hours to be painless, however, I was unable to disregard Instagram. I am a lover of photos and design, and gather all my inspiration from Instagram. This form of social media hardly ever reports on the news therefore I was not hindered in my news blackout. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

I was solicitous in picking up an old hobby of mine, which is reading. As a result, I ended up reading an entire novel in these 48 hours. Not only did I accomplish this, but I also completed more online coursework than I normally would have. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Although I was physically experiencing solitude during these times, it was not frequently that I experienced it mentally. Instead, I was occupying my mind mentally with tasks and hobbies. I believe this is because I was craving something more stimulating than my own thoughts; [comma, not semicolon] something that reading the news would have provided. Every time I would succumb to my solitary thoughts, I found myself reaching a depressed state and wondering why I was alone, and why I wasn’t doing something greater with my life at the moment. [How do these feelings relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

The news is very much a contributing factor to solitude because it allows us to see the greater picture at times. When reading the news alone [comma] we are unbothered by outside opinions and can fully absorb the material, thus creating more solitude by making us think for ourselves. As humans we tend to be reticent even within our own solitude, but news material allows us to experience the thoughts and emotions of others and apply them to our lives. While it is easy to get caught up in nonsense news stories, most stories greatly benefit our solitude and play a part in forcing us to deal with mental roadblocks we may have otherwise ignored. [Good insights. How do they relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

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