My challenge for this week was to avoid the news. Being on holidays I found it easy to not watch the news on television but right from day one I realised that news comes in so many forms that I needed to define what I was avoiding. So I made my goal to not read newspapers (either online or in print), not watch any news or current affairs programs on television or listen to them on the radio or read news articles online. It turned out that this was all much more difficult than I thought.
Monday – The temptation to open up news websites was not as strong as it normally is because I’m on holidays and I had no trouble ignoring the little tempting newsfeeds at the side of my twitter page. There was only one moment when the news came on the radio as I was driving – something about a drug raid – before I quickly changed stations.
Tuesday – The news keeps trying to sneak into my life. This morning as I opened the browser to check emails it first opened up a news feed. I quickly shut it off and don’t even remember what the top story was about. Twitter still has its trends but I figure as long as I don’t click I am not reading any news, but still I am aware of something of what is going on in the world because of the headings.
Wednesday – I’m not even remotely interested in knowing what is going on in the world. Ignorance is bliss! But when I catch up with a friend for coffee all she wants to talk about is the news – I have to keep saying I haven’t seen or heard any news stories all week. She just looks at me strangely and then begins to fill me in anyway.
Thursday – I am beginning to realise that I don’t need the constant bombardment of news feeds that the media provides. I make a note to be more discerning in the future and only read those articles that are relevant. I find it a relief not being continually reminded about war and politics and terrorism and misogyny and rape and violence toward women and poor social conditions … until I realise that I need to know about some of these things.
Friday – Despite my efforts to continue with ‘no news week’ I find the news pops up everywhere. Is listening to talkback radio part of the news? Is catching a glimpse of a headline in the newspaper while standing in line to buy groceries part of the news? Is my twitter trends part of the news? Is my twitter feed part of the news?
Saturday – I think the biggest thing I have learnt from this week of ‘no news’ is that I don’t spend as much time reading articles that make me sad, angry, frustrated with the world. Then I catch a glimpse on television of a bushfire somewhere. I have this urge to find out more – where is it? how bad is the fire? is it near someone I know?
Sunday – my final day of the challenge and I have a new resolve. Be more discerning with what I watch or read. Don’t spend so much time each day looking at news feeds online because so much of it upsets me. I don’t really need the constant bombardment of news to live my life, but being aware of what is going on is important to me.
So there you have it, my attempt at no news week. Next week is my ‘no negativity’ challenge. Stay tuned.