I haven’t posted in a while and there is a good reason. Actually, it’s not a good reason it’s a bad reason. A very bad and sorry excuse for a reason. I’ve written previously about the effects of the 24/7 news cycle on my psyche. I could blame being too busy with work, or domestic responsibilities as reasons for me not putting pen to paper, or in my case fingers to keyboard. But the fact is I’ve been consumed by a constant need to update myself with fear, distrust, loathing and the completely mundane. My ability for clear thought has become fractured and one of the main tools I rely on to diffuse this destructive force, writing, started to become difficult to access.
So, this post is a declaration to you and to myself, that I am taking steps to combat the modern scourge that plagues our lives. For me it chiefly takes the form of constantly reading the news, for you it might be a game, checking email or social media. I’m probably guilty of all of them.
The reality is if the world goes to crap it’s not going to make any difference if I read about it on my smartphone numerous times a day. While I feel powerless in the face of global events, watching helplessly as world leaders play chicken with our collective future, what I have at my disposal is the ability to express ideas, to shape words into some form of meaning that hopefully resonates with others. This process makes me feel better. While I’m constantly downloading news I’m not putting anything positive back into the world. My thoughts and energies are being disrupted, confused, fragmented.
A juicy conspiracy theory can readily be drawn. A fragmented mind is easier to overcome than one that’s clear and focused. Just why are we being bombarded with information if not to confuse and distract us from making objections to those with unsavory agendas?
To help me combat fragmentation I’m starting out with a couple of lists. I have a ‘To Do’ and a ‘Not To Do’ list. They will probably change, but you have to start somewhere.
Not to do
- No tech in my bedroom. I have an alarm clock. That’s all I need
- If sleep is interrupted, NO screens in the middle of the night.
- Don’t look at my phone without purpose
- No checking email outside of work hours
- No social media outside of scheduled times
- Read or write at night when I can’t sleep
- Allocate time for constructive social media interaction
- Only look at my phone when it rings
- Write every day
- Read every day
- Meditate every day
- Exercise every day
- Watch or listen to news once a day only
This is my approach to the pervasive streams of information pouring into our lives with unparalleled speed and quantity. What’s yours?