Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 1 and 2 of News Fast

Jo Hunter Adams

I've been learning about different kinds of fasting recently, and given my pregnancy I didn't want to fast from food. At the same time, I've been thinking about my news addiction (is that too strong a word?) and it felt like it was the thing I could release myself from for the next thirty days.

The fast includes all news websites, my Google Reader, as well as Facebook.

Reading news tends to be a means for me to avoid something, particularly work. It takes a lot of my time and I tend to talk and think a lot about it. I'm excited to step back and figure out what is useful and helpful in my life and what isn't.

In "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" Barbara Kingsolver wrote about how we tend to live vicariously and be affected by news that actually need not affect us. I'm sympathetic to this view. It's tremendously hard to focus on the present, and be present to whatever is happening in the room that you're in at that moment.

I've tended to believe that being informed, understanding current events and reading good news sources are all very important for me to be able to live a socially responsible life. Yet when I take stock, many of my more deeply held views on socially responsibility and current events come from books written well after the fact, rather than daily news sources. I'm not exactly sure at what point observing life and actually living it come in conflict with one another. I certainly want to understand issues where I can add my voice or respond in some way (even if the response is just on this blog). But I also what to be fully engaged in the relationships and interactions I am in the midst of.

So here's to the next 29 days! I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

Sarah Rettger said...

Wow. Wouldn't be able to do it. News in its various forms is just too much a part of what I do, and what I enjoy. So I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.

(Also - a baby? Jo? Awesome!)