diagnosis: digitally distracted
Trying to stay on top of the daily “news” has become almost impossible as the resources for news online are endless. I'm a bit obsessed and consider myself "digitally distracted." I love news. I used to be satisfied by just watching the morning talk shows and then starting my day. Not anymore—by a long shot. I still love the morning television news but then I open my computer and could easily stay online for hours in the morning just seeing what’s going on.
News has such a broad definition today, as we have so many facets to our lives. We want to read about world events, current events locally and throughout the country, our business industry, our hobbies, our communities, our causes, our kids' schools, social media, our friends Facebook and Twitter streams, blogs, YouTube videos, deals of the day, Pinterest, online magazines and don't forget about podcasts! With so many interesting outlets and opinions online, I was overwhelmed; I needed to set some boundaries and not get sucked into the online abyss.
The "catch 22" with tech: While it makes our lives easier and better in many ways, it's also an endless pit of information that leaves us needing to determine what's important to us on a daily basis. Let's be honest, we'll probably never feel completely up to date on everything and that has to be okay unless someone will pay me for sitting at my computer.
For me, what I've realized lately is that my world does not exist online. I'm a people person. I enjoy hearing about "news" from friends and family the old fashioned way. I love to have coffee, walks, lunch and dinner with friends and family and talk. That's a really important “channel” in my life. Listening to different perspectives and opening our minds to how the news actually affects people in our lives is important and worth making time for instead of thinking that Facebook posts are enough to know what’s really going on with people. We can't lose the real connections, which are offline.
Now, I limit myself to one hour in the early morning to check my favorite aggregate news sites, see the headlines, read some articles, look at my topics of interest on blogs, and touch base through social media on Facebook and Twitter—then I've got to move on and be a productive citizen of the real world, i.e. make breakfast for my kids, drive them to their activities, work on my biz and take action toward my goals. I do check in a couple more times during the day, don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely disciplined…but 15-30 min. tops.
I feel like I'm making progress balancing online information with real life connections and work. On Sundays, I’m completely content with just the Sunday New York Times (the real paper) and a coffee. I love to unplug on Sunday, I’m completely ready by then.
Where do you get your news and what’s enough? Do you ever take steps to unplug?