Taking a media break as a journalist seems like a paradox. How is it possible to stop taking in media, when your job is to be in the know? However, that's what I intend on doing for the next week.
Over the last few months, the world has had some bad news, to put it lightly. Whether it's the civil war in Syria, the crisis in the Ukraine, or the countless shootings in the USA, it seems like nothing good ever happens. Not even Canada, where I once read the headline "Bus driver is rude to elderly woman" on the front page of a paper, is immune to the barrage of bad news. Stories that are relevant to us still seem to pop up. Climate change is going to ruin our lives sometime within the next few days, and unemployment is at a record high. Today's top headline in CBC is that a 10 year old boy in London, Ontario was found locked inside a squalid apartment. The point is, it's hard to keep your head up when it seems like everything is going to shit.
Last week, I mentioned that I suffer from anxiety and depression and that they've been rearing their heads in the worst sort of way recently. I've also been doing a lot of self reflection and I have realized that since it is now my job to know what's going on, I've been taking in a lot more negativity than I can handle. Everything I read, I think "oh, that could happen to me!" or "what if the world ends and I leave my future children in a horrible place?" I fixate on these thoughts and they unhealthily become all that I can think about.
For this reason, I've decided to take a week-long media hiatus. It should be fairly easy for me, since I do arts reporting, to sort of ignore what's going on in the rest of the world for a week. It will be a very un-scientific study to see whether or not this has a positive impact on my mood. If it does, I will take things from there!
Wish me luck, and keep me company as I go on a week-long stint of purposeful ignorance. I'm going to keep a list of all the news accounts I unfollow on Facebook and Twitter so that I can follow them again when this starts back up, and I will post that list here. (You know, in case anybody is SUPER interested in what I am currently following.) That's to come in the next post. See you on the flip side!