Challenging self limiting habits

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I found this Kindred Spirit article interesting: https://kindredspirit.co.uk/no-news-is-good-news/

"News narratives are more intrusive than they have ever been.  Out of interest, before I offer a list of the kind of things I had to do in order to avoid news media, try and list for yourself the range of news media sources that you have been exposed to in the last few days.  For me, avoiding the news meant: disabling news apps on my phone, changing the home page settings on several internet browsers, changing settings on the search engines I use (Google and Bing), changing settings on my YouTube account, sitting with my back to the TV in the pub, avoiding the news-tickers that scroll away in some waiting rooms (even the Dentist and Doctors now) and trying not to read headlines at newspaper vendors.  All this, not to mention other people: their conversations, TVs, iPads and phones.  I’m not as reclusive as this might sound either.  I work as a teacher and live a normal family life.  I didn’t ask anyone to change their behaviour around me, but I found as the year went on that I learned very little about the news from other people.

This article is not about the practical challenges I was presented with however, I want to explore the sense of empowerment that can be achieved by challenging any self-limiting habit.  For me it was my own habits in response to the news narrative.  One thing has become powerfully clear: if I can exercise choice over a narrative as intrusive and compelling as the news in the modern era, I like to feel that I can exercise it over any self-limiting narrative.  "


Emphasis my own.
(This post was last modified: 2018-06-02, 01:20 PM by Brian.)
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I have never owned a television or bought newspapers except on the very rare occasions that a headline interested me.
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(2018-06-03, 02:51 PM)Max_B Wrote: We had a TV when I was a very small child (perhaps 6 years old), but my parents kept finding me downstairs early on a morning watching the Open University test card going round and round on the TV set, and waiting for programming to start. So Dad took the TV away, replacing it with the complete set of Encyclopedia Britanica, and a Hi-Fi system. I still couldn't read, so it was initially no use to me. By the time I reached Junior School I still couldn't read or write. Luckily my parents were proactive enough to take me to the dyslexic institute for testing, where I was diagnosed. Not much was known about Dyslexia at the time, but they got me a private English teacher a couple of evenings a week who was interested enough to take me on, and use the techniques pioneered at the institute.

After 2-3 years of struggle, the words began to go in and stick, and a new world of information opened up to me. At one point in my early teens I was reading more than a book a day. I also learnt that if there was anything I didn't know, I could go immediately to the encyclopedia Britannica in the house and learn about it - it was pretty unusual to have a resource like that at home. Just like the internet today, I'd read the article I had looked up, then move on to other interesting articles which caught my eye on the following pages. I suspect the easy access to that amount of information has stayed with me, if there is anything I don't know, I always believe I can find out somewhere.

We got a TV again when I was around 16 years old. I got onto the internet in the UK around 1994 with Demon Internet, I had a good job and was willing to spend sometimes as much as £700 a month on the telephone charges. It proved to be worth it, within 5 years I had set up my own business on the internet which I still run today. Then around the time of the second Iraq war I made my own choice to get rid of the TV, together with the newspapers and then the radio. Initially my boredom was crystalised, and it was very difficult to cope with. But cope with it I did, eventually other things filled up the void it had left in my daily routines. I dip into the radio now and again for programmes like "In our Time", and I still watch films and video's. But it's lovely to be free of the incessant propaganda on the TV.
It's really good you were able to start reading and writing.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to grow up without those skills.  I still watch films and videos and despite disliking Google, I am thankful for Youtube and other video sites.
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