Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I'm addicted to news, part 1

...so much so that I will go out of my way to read it to avoid doing other things, like writing. (Hence significant delays in my output here.)

I read The Toronto Star most days (probably about 1/3-1/2 of the online version), and when I've finished that, I move on to the front page of Digg.com. If somehow I manage to exhaust those sources during my day, the interweb is replete with alternatives. Apart from work, this is probably the largest chunk of my day. In my reading, I keep track of what is going on in the various worlds I inhabit--the geopolitical, the socio-cultural, the technological-scientific, the pictures of cute animals--ostensibly because I am interested in them, but, sadly, the truth is that I'm simply addicted. I can't stay away. I must know! And I haven't exactly made any moves to improve the situation. At least I'm not the only one, if the explosion of blogs and social news and networking are any sign.

Now, I am interested in what is happening in the worlds--I love to be informed about things--but I'm also interested in getting things done; and I have no shortage of personal projects to occupy my time. What I recognize about my addiction to news, and what I imagine might actually apply to any addiction that is more psychological than physiological, is that I indulge it to procrastinate. (In other words, maybe I'm not really addicted, but I am a compulsive procrastinator.) Something else I've noticed is that I no longer bother justifying it to myself, but I do feel guilty about it. Actually, I suppose I read news to rationalize my procrastination. Still, I guess there are worse addictions and compulsions.

The thing I feel guilty about is that I rarely synthesize the media I consume; I often don't even digest it. I mean, I look and I read and I remember somewhat, but I don't always engage. Or that's how it feels anyway. So now I'm doing something about it, and you will help me. Basically, you're looking at my addiction therapy. (And hopefully engaging it, too.) Wish me luck!


Ryan Oakley said...

Good luck.

It all sounds similar to the reasons I started blogging. I needed to keep track of things and bookmarks just weren't doing the trick. Jotting down my thoughts with the links helped them stick in my head and helped me make some sense out of them. Plus the stories were easier to find.

The idea of being able to use the blog to not only understand but to engage the media and/or the raw world took a long time and a lot of hits to emerge. I still don't know how seriously I take it.

I'm always surprised that people even read the thing, let alone comment.

`````````````````````````` said...


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