Each week there seems to be new information regarding our current presidential administration and ties to a certain foreign government. How fake news stories were spread to undermine our electoral process and ultimately subvert our democracy and how our current president colluded with this foreign government to make it all happen. Regardless of the veracity of said collusion one thing is abundantly clear. This would not have been possible if so many of us were not addicted to Social Media and 24 Hour News Channels.
As a family we do not receive newspapers or magazines. Many years ago we decided we would be happier if we didn’t know the daily bad news so we cancelled all of our subscriptions.
As a family we have never had any cable or broadcast television in our house. When you turn the TV on there is nothing unless you choose a DVD or the Apple TV. We do use Netflix and Amazon Prime but no news and no sports. The important thing here is we chose what content we are going to see.
And now that we have significantly reduced our Social Media use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, maybe 10 minutes a week) our exposure to the sea of attention sucking garbage has been dramatically reduced.
Even without cable news, newspapers, magazines, and severely limited social media we still know that there was another school shooting in Florida. And guess what? Our lawmakers are still not sure whether or not there should be any sort of limitations on guns in this country. I don’t need to have a Facebook argument to know how messed up that is. We still haven’t solved DACA, we’re still blowing stuff up in Afghanistan, and our relations with North Korea are still ridiculously close to nuclear war.
How is it possible to know this without the 24 hour barrage of news? For 20 minutes of my drive into school I listen to Vermont Public Radio. The rest of the drive I listen to music on CD, sometimes I just listen to CDs. If it is important you hear about it. If you want more information you can get it, but you don’t need a bunch of people discussing it from every angle trying to squeeze out every possible bit of drama.
So maybe the foreign government colluded with a candidate and influenced our election, but we let them. We gave them our eyes and ears and we made them rich in the process. We trusted all the shiny new platforms designed to make us addicted to the likes, the hearts, and the shared post. We allowed our phones to notify us of all that we were missing while we were away. Yes, we are slaves to the shiny screen and until we walk away from it for something real it will be our master. Because that is what addiction is – a Master / Slave relationship and we, as a culture, are addicted to our technology.
No I am not ready to smash my phone like those awesome bumperstickers that say “Kill Your Television” but I can SHUT IT OFF.
Shutting my phone off, I am going to record some music.
Thanks for reading,