Media Blackout: The Wrap-Up

My self-imposed Media Blackout is officially over. Overall, I'm really pleased with the results. Productivity went way up, and while I don't think this is all due to the Blackout, it was a factor. Some stats:

Important news stories I missed out on:

None that I can find. I knew about the new trillion $ spending package, because Mark told me. They do know there are numbers lower than a trillion, right?

Pissy little news stories I missed out on:
  • Octomom fires her kids' nurses
  • Yet more dishing about singer Rihanna and what she should do about her relationship with abuser Chris Brown (my vote: tune out the media completely and just take care of herself)

Times I cheated:

Several. Most of these were fairly innocent slips: Mark likes to watch Mad Money; I like to sit with Mark. I can't follow most of what Jim Cramer says anyway.

The worst offense was probably the first night, after I spent several hours on the web dealing with various government forms (it turns out my marriage license IS my marriage certificate). After that I really felt like I needed to float in the billowy warmth of the interwebs. So I loaded up the Freakonomics blog and just scanned through the post titles. I did not inhale!

Times I greeted Mark at the door with an irate comment about what Congress had been up to that day:


Changes to Productivity:

Substantial, and all for the better. I'm not sure this can be attributed solely to the Blackout; I also acquired a lovely new car, which enabled me to get out the the library more often. And I got back to blocking out my schedule in a serious fashion, which also helped.

But the Blackout was a boon to my work life, I think. It increased productivity at least somewhat, especially in the morning, when I often spend a good bit of time surfing the web. And increased productivity leads to increased momentum, which creates mroe productivity... you get the picture. It was a good thing.

Changes to Mood:

Also substantial, and for the better. Part of that is attributable to... let's hear it again... increased productivity!

But I honestly believe that lowering my news quotient was good for my soul. I was spending an unpleasant amount of time angry, and that's just no good. This week was a great break from all that. It reminded me of the kind of person I want to be: Someone who values other people, whether or not they agree with me; someone who looks for the best in others and not the worst.

Going Forward:

I want to take something of this week with me, but I don't necessarily want to tune out entirely. So here's the plan. Some of my websties will become dailies: major news sites, friends' blogs, and Murderati are a few. I'll look at these once a day, after work. Everything else will become a weekly: I'll check them out on Friday and ignore them the rest of the week. And I think I'll do a regular Blackout: say, every three months.

I hope this will let me keep my hand in without getting totally absorbed in the big media machine. If nothing else, it should give me more time for writing!


Becky said...

Wow, sounds like some good results. We should talk. Like about how you kept yourself from websurfing while you were working?