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In Response to: Cutting Back on Media Consumption

Yesterday, I opened up my RSS reader and saw a post by Dallin about Cutting Back on Media Consumption. This post delighted me, because I don’t see too many folks online discussing it.

I’m a firm believer in you are what you consume, whether that’s food, negativity, or media. The more you surround yourself with something, the more of an effect it will have on you and for years now, I’ve been doing a very unscientific experiment by observing folks and what they tend to watch/read and then see how it affects their outlook on life, society, and the world.

I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that the more people tend to be obsessed with the news, news magazine shows, and true crime shows, the more negative and sometimes downright nasty they seem to be. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum they are on. But when you think about people listening to all the horribleness in the world and then add sensationalism on top of it, it’s not surprising.

I’m similar to Dallin, in that my emotions lead what I watch. If I’m down in the dumps, I need to watch something positive and happy, or it’ll only make things worse. I try not to watch frustrating or depressing things before bed, and I have strict rules against watching the news, true crime documentaries, and content that hits too close to home (like 9/11 films).

I’ve also taken up the stance that I no longer waste my time with things I don’t enjoy. In the past, I felt compelled to complete things, because that’s what was expected of me as a fan. But now, if I find my mind worrying or I’m reaching for my phone, I turn it off and find something new. Sometimes, I can return to the original program, but most of the time I’m just over it. I have no interest in forcing my way through something I’m not enjoying for the sake of saying I did it. That’s not fandom, that’s insanity. I’ve wasted way too many precious hours of my life on bad books, movies, video games, and TV shows.

Where Dallin and I diverge is the strict limits he’s putting on media consumption. I’m not overly concerned about the amount of time I spend, just that I spend the time wisely, and I’m not disregarding important things to consume media. I commend his self-discipline and goals, we could probably all be better served by watching a little less TV and spending a little less time on the internet.

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