No News

I’m thinking about tuning out the news for a week.

No tv, radio, newspaper or internet news for a week. Just to see what it feels like. And to see if I can do it.

Starting now. (I’m thinking about it.)

Update (Tuesday, April 24): The best way to get away from the news — or information overload — is to go camping. The best way is simply to get away. Turning off the radio was a challenge. I was used to having it on in the kitchen most of the time. Jenny had the radio on when I got up this morning. She was listening, so I didn’t turn it off. I heard that Boris Yeltsin died and some train derailed in B.C. or some place. Cutting out tv is no problem. Neither is newspaper, which I only read once a week anyway. But those damn RSS feeds. That’s another story. I haven’t read of any of them, but I’ve cleared them every day, and there must be hundreds throughout the day, and most of them are repeats of the same junk. I realized I probably spend as much time scanning the headlines as I do reading the stories. Check out the top headlines in this morning’s CBC feed: Smith’s cases show need for watchdog, says pathologist — Engineer of derailed train missing in B.C. — Former PMs offer praise for Yeltsin — Lafleur’s bail hearing postponed again — Man accused of killing Laval officer freed on bail — Run-in with intruder leaves N.S. man, 72, shaken — N.B. court convicts man whose home burned during riot — Ontario to keep health tax despite rosy finances — Latest Afghan abuse claims spark cries for O’Connor’s resignation — Ontario quarry open despite aboriginal protests — Climber causes traffic jam on Champlain Bridge — Seniors home resident, 81, charged with murdering roommate — Fire hits Vancouver Island ferry terminal — Campus scare sparked by man with bike seat: Saskatoon police — Yukon reviews surge of human rights complaints — Ottawa idling bylaw gets moving — Ex-cabinet ministers say they acted on pension complaint What’s the use of knowing all this? What difference does it make to my life? I’m thinking about clearing most of my daily RSS feeds and replacing them with weekly feeds instead.

Update (April 26): It lasted about 6 days. That’s enough. I like listening to the radio when I’m in the kitchen, just not absolutely every minute I’m in the kitchen. This morning I heard news about Conrad Black and turned off the radio because that’s one news story I couldn’t be less interested in. Cutting back on useless information is easy. Just turn it off. So I’m not completely off radio (by the way, when I say radio, I always mean the CBC), but I won’t wait through the news anymore hoping it’ll get better when it rarely does. I’ve also said to hell with RSS feeds. They’re all gone. If I can’t make the effort to visit a web site on my own, then chances are I don’t really need to go there. I’m sure I’ll find new ways to waste time online, anyway.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

9 Replies to “No News”

  1. Yes! The best thing I did in terms of “daily web checks” was remove the national news sources (Yahoo etc.) TV and radio aren’t an issue here. I’ll also take mini-information-vacations too where I won’t check any feeds or local news sites for a few days.

    I wish you a renewed sense of life’s priorities and an abundance of time to spend in other pursuits or just laying around relaxing like all this technology/modern living promised us. Let us know what happens if you feel like it.

  2. Why not do a month? I was rafting in the boonies when the McDonald’s mass murder happened way back when. By the time I was back it was already a piece of history. Terrible things are much easier as history than news.

    William Gibson called it “media fasting.”

  3. I’m giving it a week. Jenny wakes up to the radio on weekday mornings. But except for those few minutes in the morning, I’m cutting out all news — all blogs (except this post), all RSS feeds (blogs, news, audio feeds, etc.), all news tv (which I don’t really watch anyway), all news radio (CBC), all internet news and newspapers. The only thing I’ll do online is check my email and maybe write a short Movies I’ve Watched post or two over at Mud Songs. Oh yeah, all chats are out too (i.e., The Whole Wheat Radio chat page). Shit, should I cut out listening WWR too? Hmm… Not that I have much time to listen these days, but I’ll think about that one.

    If I was rafting in the boonies — shit, why don’t I just go rafting in the boonies? — I could easily cut out everything for a month. But I’m not. So it’s a week.

    I may comment about how it’s going here. Or I might just disappear altogether until next week.

    So long!

  4. Jesus…i get my news here…you mean there are other sources….this… is… the center of the universe….hey jody…newflash…15 degrees all weekend and sunny…vroom! vroom! the blue beetle beemer of doom is hitting the road….

    i am serious..with no tv and the odd snippets from the mothership cbc…this is where i come for my up to date world worthy news…..keep up the good work…i am blissfully unaware….ahhh approaching nirvana…or is it ragnarok….

  5. Whoopty-doo, I live a basically newsless life. I don’t see why it would be difficult. I LIKE not knowing about all the fucked up things in the world.

  6. Pender lives a newless life and look how normal he is.

    For comedy sake, just tune into Fox News for a week. They crack me up. They will interrupt any program to show you illegal aliens crossing the US/Mexico boarder! WTF?

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