When I was young I used to love watching the news to learn more about what was happening in the world. At one time I used to dream of traveling and seeing other places, although I have never been able to afford this. Of course, I probably could if I wanted to hard enough, so perhaps I never made this goal enough of a priority.
Around thirteen I started reading the newspaper every day, and indulging in current events was a pastime for me. There was a diversity of rich information to be found in the paper, but over time, I noticed that certain paragraphs were always repetitious in major news stories. There would be new information added with a development, but certain key points were always reiterated.
As time has moved on, I find I am limiting my consumption of current events has many benefits. All the time there is more opinion than needed in some news stories, which are becoming quite editorialized. The writer definitely always has an opinion, but a good journalist at least tries to get all sides of the story, or one in my book does. So it is one thing if you enjoy indulging in the never ending elections and political scandals, but honestly, I am not ecstatic how politics have replaced soap operas, of which I was never a fan. Before the election everyone said they wanted an end to the American political cycle that is 24/7, but what are we doing to achieve this? Even if you do not like the person in office, railing against their ever move is not conducive to achieving this goal. Giving this person less attention actually would be the way.
I see two sides becoming more stubborn than ever, which gives many of us stuck in the middle little wiggle room. So I say read about five to ten minutes of the news a day and then step away. Do you ever stop to notice what advertisements are being pushed on news stories, because you know someone is making money off discord. What topics are in the top twenty Google trends at the moment? Are these subjects that will make you feel more enriched and at peace with others? I visited some major news sites just now, and some of the sponsored content is “interesting” to put it mildly. What can you do personally about divisiveness to move things forward? Telling people that you do not agree with that they are always wrong is probably not the way to achieve this.
Surprisingly, I woke up on Sunday morning and realized I just do not care much anymore about political squabbling. Do I want to give my time to a cause that does not care about me personally? The answer is no, and I believe in treating people and animals with respect without belonging to a certain social movement. This entails respecting the views of others, even if you agree with little that person has to say.
Rather than jump on the bandwagon that has already called a certain person out, why not have an actual one on one conversation with that person to find out why they feel a certain way. Sometimes, you will also find viral stories or gossip might sensationalize things a bit, and the person is not exactly what they have been portrayed to be. If this person is not harming anyone, their opinions are their own, and in the US we still have free speech. Does this mean you have to agree with what this person says? No way. There is a considerate and conducive way to diverge with someone without completely shutting down their voice.
Also, I am going a bit more Australian voter ballot in expressing my views, and realizing how you do not have to share everything. Do you know why the Australian voter ballot was adopted in the US in the first place? It was so people could feel free to express their views at the polls without recourse. Another perk to not discussing politics with everyone is the freedom from bickering. There are a few choice people I can discuss things with openly, and that is it. Sometimes I might just have a neutral viewpoint on a certain issue, and I think both sides are food fighting a bit too much.
There is a reason most etiquette experts say do not discuss politics and religion at length in social settings. I am not saying you can never indulge in these topics, but very few people agree on everything. I am not seeking a political career, so how much I need to share my opinions on this topic seems more limited day by day.
The same is true with most shows on TV these days. I watch some things on Amazon Prime, but I find in general I am out of the loop when it comes to what is viral and trending. They used to tell us we needed to blog about and YouTube about the hot topics of the moment, but I have no desire to do that anymore. There are other topics to be investigated besides who held whose hand, and who said what ridiculous thing today. I think some real knowledge is being lost when we are obsessively focused on soap opera style politics or celebrity gossip. Both sides do have some responsibility for the high school gossip girl culture permeating American social media today, but to even suggest this can get you called out. Oh well, I guess I just will not tell most people how I really feel, and they do not care because they are either busy preaching to the choir or debating with their polar counterparts.
Whatever happened to learning more about topics like botany? For instance, today I read Aya Katz’s post about the dogbane plant and learned how it is different than milkweed. I also did more investigating on my own and found out that this plant also produces a latex that can perhaps be used to create rubber. Another thing I am researching is why my hollyhock plants leaves are yellow, and perhaps how I can better care for a tomato plant I will purchase next week. If you have space you could start a container garden and focus on growing some of your own food. Is there a hobby you love, but find lately you never explore it anymore? How much time is spent on soap opera politics and viral shows that do not really enrich us? Someone once told me we all have the same twenty-four hours and can make the time for the things we really care about.
Going forward, I never plan on blogging about viral topics, most of which are not really of interest. Everything I produce now is from the heart and because it moves me. This might not be the most lucrative approach to art or blogging, but I just want to be my authentic self. I even find I do less of the mturk jobs because I just want to focus on things that inspire me when I have time. I encourage others to seek out knowledge and hobbies that enrich their life, which is fleeting. It kind of goes back to the post I wrote the other day about how we all have something to bring to the table.