out of the loop

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are you a news junkie?
I have never been the type.
I don't have a newspaper subscription (does anybody anymore?) and I never turn the TV to a news station. I suppose I could read the news online if I wanted to. But I don't. I never do.

Part of me thinks this is because 9 out of 10 times, the news is pretty rotten. When was the last time you opened your newspaper and read anything positive or uplifting? Were you motivated? Inspired? Or did you just flip through one depressing headline after the next? I think I've come to always expect bad news, so subconsciously (or maybe consciously, who knows?) I just choose to avoid it.

Part of me, though, wonders if this disconnection is a bad thing. A selfish thing. A naïve thing.
For instance, I only heard about the tornados in Oklahoma because someone happened to mention something about it on Facebook. Is that shameful or what? Lately I've been realizing how little I actually know about what's going on in the world right now - the good or the bad - and for that, I feel pretty guilty. If I'm not paying attention to anything "out there", what is all my attention being focused on?

I'll tell you!
It's on me. Me me me me me.
My life - all my little responsibilities and problems and joys and worries. My routine.

I hate that word - routine. But how can you avoid it? It's so easy to fall into one. We all do.
We wake up. Go through the motions. We're out the door. We go to work, we go to school. Attend meetings. Attend classes. Clock in, clock out. Take the bus. Sit in traffic. Kick off our shoes. And most likely, continue working. Clean this. Wash that. Finish this. Prepare for that. Add to the To-Do list. Run that errand. Return those calls (or not). Barely remember to shower. Go to bed. Repeat.

I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty easy to get so caught up in your own life that you forget the fact that there's a whole world out there. A world outside your conference call, your final exam, your dinner plans. A world with people facing bigger problems than having to sit at a long red light or work on a Saturday night. A world much much bigger than your little world. My little (teeny tiny) world.

I know that I am more guilty of this than most. It's (too) easy (for me) to be selfish. It's easy for me to get absorbed in all my "things" and tune everything else out. And I don't think my solution is to start reading the news every day. But I always find myself humbled when I am reminded that there is life beyond my own little bubble. Whether it's reading the news or joining a club or just being brave enough to speak up in class - these are the connections that are so important and provide such valuable perspective.  It's like coming up for fresh air. Do you know what I mean?

I am only one person.


  1. I don't ever watch the news or read newspapers, it's all too sad.

    I do hear about the massive things through people I speak to, so I'm aware, I just don't like to become absorbed in the day to day papers because none of them ever say anything good

    I wouldn't say this makes me self absorbed though, it's just personal choice to focus on the things that don't make me sad.. avoiding bad news doesn't make us bad people, it just makes us a little pickier with the amount of time we choose to spend on certain things. At the end of the day, I'm always aware of the huge happenings in the world despite not actively seeking news outlets, but at the same time I may not be aware that - for example - a man in my local area attacked his wife, something I would be aware of (alongside many other terrible things I can't do anything about, I'm sure)if I read the news

    I'm rambling, what I'm trying to say is I don't pay attention to the news either, but I'm OK with it. As you say, 'I am only one person' and although life may seem a little selfish if you focus on your own stuff rather than on what's happening in the world it's OK. One person can't carry the world on their shoulders, and as long as we remain good people and try to help others in our everyday lives we're not doing anything wrong


  2. Amen sista. Perspective is always nice, although I agree that news need to be the only way to gain it.

  3. I like this post a lot - you've summed up what I feel like most of the time. Guilty at how little I do in the world, embarrassed at how little I want to engage with it, sometimes (and worse even), GLAD for how thick my little bubble is so that it doesn't effect me. It's terrible isn't it?

    Recently I've been making a bigger effort to throw myself in to it a little more. Waking up early and watching the news on your own in the morning is nice, and I follow some news websites, politicians and lawyers on twitter. Reading about what's going on, and even partaking in signing petitions feels like the best way for me to dip my toe in the rest of the world right now.


  4. I've always been one to keep up with the news, but I think that comes from sitting down to watch the national news with my parents every night at 6:30 when I was younger. Now that I'm living on my own I don't watch the news anymore, and sometimes I do feel bad about that.

    Mostly, I keep up with the news on Twitter and a service called The Skimm, which sends you an overview of the news during the work week, and it's tailored for women. If you want to start keeping up with the news without having to devote 30 minutes of your life to it to watch the news (which, I know, can be really annoying when other things are going on), The Skimm is great!


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