It’s no surprise that I occasionally pick a few days (or weeks) and deliberately ignore the media. I do this on purpose. Most (nearly all?) information that’s presented as important, unexpected, or urgent is irrelevant, predictable, and most definitely not even remotely urgent. The best way to recognize this is to unplug from the flow of horseshit. When you return to the flow you’ll find everyone has spent weeks obsessing over something that was either a done deal from the start (most budget debates) or irrelevant (Superbowl commercials and any State of the Union Speech).
My term for this is “going off grid”. I sometimes call it “self imposed media blackout”. I’ve mentioned it before here and here.
Alas my definition lacks something. It seems to imply something of value as if the act of doing without is somehow a bad thing which one endures. This is not my intention. A sunset is not the unhappiness of lacking daylight.
Captain Capitalism wisely coined the term “microenvironment” and implores you to control it. You should venture forth and read what he has to say. Here’s a quote to whet your appetite:
“Thankfully, your micro-environment has an additional advantage over your macro-environment – it is nearly 100% under your control.
… if people were to step back, clear their eyes, and take a look at their lives, they’d soon realize that for all the dire news they hear in the media, practically none of it affects their daily lives.”
How does one differentiate ‘twixt “temporary media hiatus for mental health” and “if’n I don’t know nuthin’, then it won’t be a problem”? I ask because someone I care about thinks that being uninformed and unengaged with society is the best way to live her life. I argue that casting an informed vote (which probably does nothing to improve our sorry lot) is the best way to at least honestly claim the situation ain’t her fault. Any advice (other than butt out, which I already hear)?
Once you’ve dispensed with “butt out” you’re left parsing “temporary break” from “wilful self-deception”. The degree to which one employs denial is the degree to which disengagement becomes unhealthy behavior. I say this because self deception is inherently unhealthy. Either it succeeds, in which case an otherwise complete adult is infantalized. Or it fails, in which case there’s room for a deep dark pit of despair to build beneath the surface. Neither seems wise.
From my point of view it’s better to know what’s coming. Even if one can’t avoid or evade they can at least face bad news with squared shoulder and head held high; as all men should. The alternative, to act like life is a mere roll of the dice is a minor form of nihilism. Thus “temporary hiatus” is a way to “know what’s coming” without wallowing in it. Trust me, it works.
All this sounds a bit metaphysical for someone who talks to dogs, but that doesn’t make it less true. My dog concurs.
Thank you, that was helpful. BTW, my dog tells me to stop talking to him. I think I bore him.
My dog was concerned that I broke my own self-imposed “media blackout” to get back here and see what AC was up to. As soon as I reassured him it was just AC, he gave me that Labrador Look of Pack Acceptance and rolled over, essentially. Thanks for sharing the well-crafted opinion of The Captain. Unplugging is great, but there is a necessary importance of having friends within ones microcosm.
Dogs are wise. I’m glad your Labrador approves of me.
AC – I didn’t see an email link (shocking), but thought you might be interested in the following:
I don’t know anyone IRL who still splits wood 😉
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