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Why You Need to Balance Your Media Diet

My father is a news junkie, and I seemed to get the genes.

Since the 2016 U.S. election, I’ve struggled with this addiction to our 24/7 news cycle. “I majored in International Relations and have had a global emphasis in my career,” I’ve reasoned. And justified.

For at times, I’ve allowed the avalanche of the bizarre and unimaginable overtake me. Victim and conscious actor all at once, I found the magnetic pull so strong at times. Much like a drug. Confirmation bias surely caught me in its snare. I was hooked. And I know I haven’t been the only one.

A Challenge to My “Media Diet”

February 2017: My teenaged son, wise beyond his years, challenged me to take a media fast. I did — for a week — and what an excellent reset that was! I could live without all that noise. And thrive!

Don’t be like these guys! You have a brain. Think, develop empathy for our world, and engage! Image credit: Clard on Pixabay.

But I do not believe living without reference to the news is the solution. We need to be informed, engaged citizens. So, we need to develop a healthy, balanced media diet.

I know – it’s a daily battle for some. It sure is for me.

But here are three strategies I have consciously implemented to avoid the “suck” of toxic news but still keep informed:

  1. I choose to implement the Serenity Prayer as I approach each day. Having the “wisdom to know the difference” between what I can change and what I can’t, is vital to this process. I apply this every day.
  2. I turned my notifications off on my phone. All of them except text, Facebook Messenger, and Slack. Everything else is OFF, OFF, OFF! No more “little red dots” screaming out at me for immediate attention. No more serving the tyranny of the urgent. I look at social media and news on my own time, not someone else’s.
  3. I now touch bases with the news (and social media) a limited number of times during the day. And I choose to make healthy selections. Too much sugar (salacious, gossipy news) racks the body and mind. Portion control is key. And, on this last point, I’ve made sure to look at news sources representing a range of perspectives, even ones with which I disagree. I want to understand how others think because, ultimately, that’s the only way I can be the bridge I desire to be.

How about you?

How’s your media diet these days? Are you overeating? If so, maybe what I share here will help you.

If you’re choosing not to engage at all, perhaps you should examine your motives. Informed, engaged citizenry is badly needed in our times! Ignorance limits impact. The world needs your involvement, in ways large and small.

Copyright 2018 © by Caroline DePalatis. All Rights Reserved.

This is Day 2 of my 30-day, 300-word-ish + 3-point writing challenge. (446 words today.)

Want to develop a life of the informed and engaged — with balance? Check out my free ebook, You Can Be the Bridge: The CultureWeaver’s Manifesto, and join our growing community of engaged change makers today!

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