About a month ago, I took a trip with my sister to Chicago and New Orleans by train. It was a fun trip, and we learned a lot about each other by being packed into a box effectively for nearly a day thrice, and then the cheap airbnbs we stayed in. Away from our lives and our mother. Since my laptop died November 2015, I have been reliant on a smartphone mainly for internet access, and starting a few months after that, a desktop computer. That means no more laptop on the road. You can do almost anything on a modern smartphone that you can on a computer; its just more difficult. Because of this, and not wanting to get bogged down reading the dozens of articles from Drudge and elsewhere that I usually do, rather than enjoy my trip, I simply gave up. I read a few things here and there, but mostly focused on the trip and my journal.
A bit of news seeped in here and there, and at one point, a newspaper appeared on the table next to me at lunch, and I debated whether to read it (I did). I learned that President Trump had left the Paris Accord, and a few other things. A few friends mentioned things like the London Bridge attack (which I didnt believe at first), but mostly I didnt hear much news.
Surprisingly, while I am heavily addicted to both reading and sharing articles, I was able to go cold turkey. And I didnt really notice. I did miss the news a bit and wondered what was going on in the world, but I didnt really need to know anything. My day was full of adventures and activities, so I didnt need to do anything else. I didnt even really feel like I was missing out. It felt normal. In fact, it felt better. No more stress about having to read all of the 129 tabs I have up on my computer now (I am serious), and decide which ones should be posted on which page. It was relaxing and I didnt feel any hole really.
Coming back to reality, Ive of course succumbed back to eagerly reading everything, and not accomplishing much else (except a few blog posts somehow), but the thought lingers in my head that I should stop doing this. Yes, its all interesting and informative, but it takes so much time, it fills me with stress about what to do with the info, and not much comes out of it. Instead, I could be writing something for the rest of you suckers, or working on one of my books, that might one day be published and start bringing in some income.
Drudge seems to have blocked my access thanks to my adblocker and disabling it has not worked. I can use another browser, but they all seem slow and cant handle as many tabs. I feel less informed, but I am not really missing out on much, am I? A lot of libertarians would like to live in a world where all of this crap isnt really in the news. Wouldnt it be great if we didnt have to hear about politicians and their schemes every day, and stress over higher taxes or another war? What if the only news were about the latest product or sports and film? It would still be somewhat stressful, but much less so. You could casually glance, but not desperately panic.
Hopefully, going forward, I can push more to ignore the articles and the news. So much fascinates me and I still get emails with great articles from FEE, I still read a few blogs, but I really need to push back on all this. I need to focus on my own productivity. Maybe when I am old with grandchildren and a shelf of published works, I can take a break and get a coronary over whether Barron Trump will defeat Charlotte Mezvinsky. Hashem help us. Well, hopefully, by then, there arent presidential elections anymore.