Media Fasting

Media Fasting:
Ant Farm's Media Burn

For the last year I've been trying, as an experiment, to see what it would be like to cut off the news. That means no newspaper, no Google news, no NPR, no broadcast television of any kind.

At the beginning of my media fast, I was concerned that I would somehow lose touch with reality, with important details of what's going on in the world. In fact, some news does reach me, filtered through conversations with friends and family. And I have, thanks to local blogs, kept in touch with some neighborhood news. But the torrent of irrelevant details on the scandals, murders, wars and political intrigue of modern life no longer cross the threshold of my consciousness.

Yes, as citizens of whatever country we find ourselves in, we have a duty to be engaged in political change.  But I believe that most of us are better off focusing on politics at the local level where our voices can actually make a difference. I really like the stoic flowchart Mark Frauenfelder posted on BoingBoing some time ago. It works really well for deciding if a particular political situation is worth paying attention to:

I want to be abundantly clear that I am not a Luddite.  Communications technology, especially the internet, have an important role in making this world a better place. But we have the power to be the gatekeeper of that information. What we feed into our higher consciousness has the power to change ourselves and the world for the better.

If you've tried a media fast, or disagree completely with the concept, leave a comment.

Inspiration for my media fast came from an episode of the C-Realm podcast--an interview with Neal Kramer, entitled "Grasp the Nettle".