I am going to discuss media, and how I feel it's taking over my life. Completely consuming and unapologetic, as if it were a person. Perhaps, it's because certain persons are now covered so often in the media. I'll omit the names. The names and the actions of those who shall not be named upset me. Very much, in fact. And media as a subject is so much more than who makes the headlines today. It's more vast and ever expansive, so let's focus on that.
I remember the days when I didn't have a smart phone or a laptop or an iPad. I got my first cell phone when I was 16. It was black and white Nokia that didn't send texts or did anything smart except for making calls that were expensive AF. It was reserved for emergencies only. Those were wonderful, carefree days. I miss those days. I remember the days when consuming media was a deliberate choice and not something that followed me around all day long as a FOMO shadow. Those days are gone.
Deliberate choice is important in the context of autonomy and independence. It allows us humans make our own decisions that are thought-through and, it is my hope, are educated. I used to choose time of day when to consume, which news to consume, and the amount of news to consume. I had a say. I remember the days when punditry was a part of an opinion section and news were delivered by legitimate media channels. I chose what I read and watched. I could form an independent opinion without being influenced by my friends' point of view or what they thought was an acceptable position on a topic. I made a decision to receive news to inform me on the issues important to me. I used to be a conscious media consumer.
Today, from the moment I wake up till the minute I set the phone aside to call it a night, I'm fed information.
Constantly. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, news apps, fitness apps, wellness apps for fuck's sake.
Wherever I turn, there is information flying my way - neatly packaged news designed to pique my interest and provoke some kind of reaction. Today. To ignites a response, a post or a tweet to add to the sensationalism of topic du jour. Right now. And not a moment later.
The plethora of media channels and the issue of information curation are making me more deliberate with what I let in. I find, taking longer pauses between checking the news, the feed, the headlines, the comments, the reactions really helps to create space for information to settle. It helps to know when I've gathered enough information to form an opinion. It helps to eliminate unnecessary stress associated with consuming to much media and not feel overwhelmed. If only I could just turn the news off and the issues would go away. They don't. I can help control how much of it I let affect my point of view.