7 days

A week ago I began a two week experiment to see what it would be like not to read see or hear news. Could I capture some of that holiday happiness you feel when you’re out of touch in far off places? 7 days in and I definitely feel different. More relaxed, more focused, less general background anxiety. I’ve been surprised at how domestic I’ve become. The cooker has never been so clean and I’ve recycled everything recyclable within sight. Is this displacement? I’ve realised how very difficult it is not to pick up news during the course of daily living. Newspapers on display in shops and petrol stations, often right next to the till. Background radio in public places. Annoying TV screens on trains and stations. Web tickers and headline summaries on all sorts of pages where you wouldn’t expect to see news. Not to mention all the oblique references on blogs. As a result, I’ve a fair idea of the major news events of the last week. I’m not terribly bothered though at the moment. Just writing that somehow feels wrong – but it’s true nonentheless. All this newsification of the environment is testimony to our obsession with remaining in touch with ‘whats going on’. Why? For most people what is going on in other parts of the world or even the other end of the country only has marginal bearing on their lives. I’d be interested to know more about the social functions of news. So, there are seven more days of news avoidance ahead. I’ve already learnt that having a less obsessive attitude to news makes for a more centred daily life. I’ll have to start on the bathroom next.

Thanks to all who’ve been quiztastic. I’ve posted the answers in full.

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