A strategy for dealing with news, information-overload, and the entertainment industry.
Although we may be exposed to thousands of marketing messages per day, we’ve heard that our brain registers about 250 of these marketing messages. So, if I’m awake 16 hours per day, then on average I am “reached” 15 times per hour by external marketers. And that does not include my own texting, emailing, or feeding my news appetite, or my own social media links.
4-Steps to getting back your time and your own viewpoints:
Step 1: Notice your media and news habits.
- Media habits have a cost: in our time, in our mojo, in our relationships, in our pursuit of happiness.
- Check for yourself. Try a 24-hour fast. Start small by fasting first from one of your most used media outlets. Try a second 24-hours. What lessons emerge from the 2-day fast?
- Cut yourself some slack. It can feel quite uncomfortable to stop feeding our media habits. It really is like dropping any other habit, like cutting back on sugar, or starting a daily walk.
- Consider finding a buddy to go down this path with you. Find some support: Google search “making good media choices.”
Step 2: Reduce: If you are ready, then go “cold turkey” off of the media outlets that “rob you of life.” If you cannot go “cold turkey” then put media in a “time cage.” For example, commit yourself to only check that media source at 11am and 4pm, and only for 20-minutes each time.
- Especially reduce the media that costs you the most time and that you feel has no pay-off. It may be robbing you of life!
- Especially reduce media that promotes violence and division, including movies and shows. We need to find ways to unite, non-violently. Those shows are out there. Find them.
If you need more convincing of this hijacking-of-our attention, check out these links:
- The Social Dilemma, Docudrama on Netflix. Trailer: https://youtu.be/uaaC57tcci0
- The Persuaders, Frontline 2004 eps15 https://www.pbs.org/video/frontline-persuaders/
- The Great Hack, how social media data was used in 2016 election. On Netflix. Trailer: https://youtu.be/iX8GxLP1FHo
- TED Radio Hour on social media and big data... https://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/818298800/irl-online
Step 3: Replace: There is a whole wonderful-alternate-media world, but you have to want to find it.
- Google search: movies that feed character.Find ways to be with friends physically, rather than on social media.
- Check out the EZ Starter Steps
- Find a book of interest. One that feeds your curiosity or that feeds your soul. You may get hooked on reading.
- Go to a Dinner and a Fight Dialogue event (ha, we had to suggest it 🙂
- Take up a hobby. Either solo, or join a group. What can be accomplished with our “old media time.”
Step 4: For news specifically
- Consider subscribing to a weekly news magazine, as a substitute to consuming news several times a day. Or with a weekly news magazine, maybe commit to checking daily headlines on your news app once per day at 5pm.
- Here are sources that are committed to presenting at least 2 sides to news and issues.
- Finally, we know, and it’s worth repeating, that it is a fallacy to be fully informed about a topic. Especially a complex topic. But my hunger “to know” seems insatiable. Which is why we need each other! And why, so desperately, it is Time to Trust. And to build trust, we will need time. A great place to start is at Dinner and a Fight Dialogue™.
Try what has come to be called “brain food” such as:
- Freakonomics podcasts https://freakonomics.com/
- TED Radio Hour podcasts https://www.ted.com/podcasts/ted-radio-hour
- Hidden Brain podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hidden-brain/id1028908750 https://hiddenbrain.org/