Wrapped in the Web

Posted by on Mar 6, 2011 in MFW, Work

It has been a hectic time, and while I knew life was moving rather quickly, I really was not aware of just how fast until today, when I realized that another Media Free Week is here again.

I wrote in my last post about my concerns about my media consumption in relationship to my new job, and whether or not I could truly have a media fast of any significance while spending the day reading, watching, and listening to local news.

Well, the answer is yes. And no.

Yes, I can still take a real break from media when I am not working. This means:

  1. No radio in the car (no CDs, either – the quiet was welcome!).
  2. No videos for entertainment.
  3. Social media for work use only.
  4. No news media after work hours.
  5. Turning off the computer (gasp!) when I am not working.

And then there is the No category. Even with my rules, I was consuming news media every workday, which happened to be 7 days that week. As community manager I work hard to view the news objectively, so I assumed I wasn’t internalizing much of what I was reading. But then I started dreaming about news stories, and realizing they were having a bigger impact than I imagined.

Now I am facing another Media Free Week, and have to approach it a new way. I can’t change what I do at work, but I can change what I do before and after work each day. At the same time, I’m going to keep it simple and manageable:

  1. Take a real lunch break, sitting in another room away from the computer.
  2. After turning off the computer for the day, do something physical immediately to reinforce the change (ie: stretching, walking around the block, running up and down the stairs)
  3. Call a couple of friends from far away and reconnect.

Dreaming about news aside, I am really enjoying my job, and discovering all the news sources in my community. This just reinforces why taking a break from media is so useful – I LOVE media, and really need some help keeping my life in balance. Without some thoughtful distance, and deliberate focus on the rest of my life I could become lost in the maze.

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Last month I was excited to learn about other people’s experiences with their own media fasts. I’d love to hear your story, too!

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This is one of my favorite places in DC – the atrium at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. It looks a little forbidding here, but I promise you it’s a great place to go in the dead of winter and the height of summer!

1 Comment

  1. Jon Mitchell
    March 8, 2011

    Thanks for the inspiration, Gin. I’m trying!! (I’m failing :^p)