Movember, Inktober, Dry February… People seem to be in a desperate need of creating new challenges. Hence I have decided to create one tailor-made for me.
Since March 2020 I have radically re-evaluated my attitude towards the media. I turned off my FB timeline and stopped following the general agenda of repeating news from various sources. I had several reasons:
1. THE PURSUIT OF TIME
• The editors compete for being the first to bring new information, regardless the quality of the content. Recycling without editing.
• Although the objective information is a relative term, it is almost impossible to find news of a purely informative character. Most of them include personal opinions and the author’s impressions, which leads to imposing the reader with various feelings.
"...it is almost impossible to find news of a purely informative character. Most of them include personal opinions and the author’s impressions, which leads to imposing the reader with various feelings."
• Cheap tabloid headlines combined with the opinion agenda mentioned above leave mixed feelings, mainly negative. “XY new cases, the most since Wednesday.”
• The military terminology in the media causes the feeling of urgency. “XY people were defeated by...”,“… has more victims.”,”… medics in the front line.”
• The content created this way presents a vicious circle increasing the engagement and the publisher’s profits. Searching for satisfying and simple answers temporarily reduces the caused frustration, but paves the way for others.
4. THE INFORMATION CHAOS
• The vast amount of information eventually creates a never-ending story. “The new study implies that...”, “The scientists agreed on...” “The expert (in this and that) claims that...”
• On social media the chaos is conditioned by algorithms that shuffle the feed according to preferences and create so-called social bubble (tracked by a documentary Social dilemma, 2020)
5. THE TIME INVESTMENT
• The amount of time we spend reading news detaches us from reality and prevents us from focusing on the important things.
• Constant thinking about consumed information can be exhausting.
I have to admit that I have not been the entire year without news. Brushing up my RSS reader gave me better control over the information flow and organised categorization of articles, but in a while it has been overloaded with useless news more than I would like to.
During few weeks without the information overload I discovered that:
• Having the overview and discussing the current affairs personally as an unbiased listener is more liberating than analysing the text alone behind the screens.
• The categorization of received news reveals those which simply interpret the source and those which really generate the original information.
• Working on a computer presents a risk of being distracted by reading various articles and clicking on random links. Their reduction increases my productivity and I am able to be more focused on my tasks, without temptation of countless distractions.
• Ignorance is bliss. It eliminates the prejudices, teaches us not to be opinionated nor to ask the right question.
• Any form of “decentralization” of receiving information eliminates the manipulation of thinking.
We are being indoctrinated by a fear agenda to excessively consume media, television and radio. Let’s not forget that a frightened mind can be easily manipulated, which is used by both political power and corporates. Few of the wealthiest IT companies with a monopoly set the global opinions. They decide which information we receive; thus, they have boundless power. Because we don’t care. We consider the freedom of speech as a right without any duties and responsibilities and meanwhile it slips through our fingers.
"We consider the freedom of speech as a right without any duties and responsibilities and meanwhile it slips through our fingers."
We have entered the Lent, the time for reflection. Can we still function without daily information stimuli? Are we in control of our addictions?
Simply being a consumer or a polemicist gives us the feeling of importance and significance. However, it ends up paralysing us, because we don’t dedicate the time to substantial needs of our life such as personal development or relationships.
We are overwhelmed by manifesting the acquired information and consequently, leading a dialogue becomes a professional discipline.
Is that really so? Or do we want it to be this way and willingly participate in this game?
Aren’t we losing the ability to confront consumed information and compare it with reality?
Are we staying on the top of the virtual world of sensation?
Are we able to have an unbiased dialogue?
If we really mean it, the Silent March can be the ideal entrance into the "digital ecology".
So, are you up to a month without news?