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:
- No radio in the car (no CDs, either – the quiet was welcome!).
- No videos for entertainment.
- Social media for work use only.
- No news media after work hours.
- 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:
- Take a real lunch break, sitting in another room away from the computer.
- 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)
- 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.
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!
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!