Thank You to My Sister

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A bee rolling drunkenly in magnolia stamens that I saw on a walk through my neighbourhood

At the end of January my sister raised the challenge of participating in FebFast and giving up Social Media for a month with her. I agreed – I knew I could do it (as I have before), I just wasn’t sure that I wanted to.

The first week was hard. President Trump was making news and I was unable to see how my network of friends were reacting. I began obsessively watching You Tube to see how comedians were interpreting the news and then I started reading the news in newspapers.

I think it was Seth Meyers who commented that he was glad he had young children as it meant he didn’t have to explain this world where Trump was president. It took some time but I disagree. I’m glad that I am able to discuss the varying viewpoints with my teenage children. My obsession with the Trump presidency led my daughter to ask, “Mum, what’s happening in Australian politics?” A question she has never asked before.

The discussions that we’re having at home revolve around the topics of bias, journalism, democracy, freedom of speech and the art of distraction. President Trump’s outrage at the level of accuracy in reporting by the major media outlets has led me to the Fox News Channel to view the world through a different perspective.

My viewpoint hasn’t changed. The issues that I care deeply about are still a priority. I continue to be appalled by select individuals who brush off Trump’s style and lack of regard for accuracy or truth – hard to express outrage when my political heros have been guilty of the same sins.

What changes have I noticed in myself while fasting from social media?

I spend more time discussing in person rather than online – I am more engaged in discussions in the actual rather than the virtual.

I spend more time reading news articles rather than opinion pieces and rants on my news feeds. With so many of my close friends overseas, I do miss these interactions and will join them once again when March rolls in. However, I feel less irate and more balanced in my views when the encouragement to maintain the rage has been removed.

So I thank my sister who inadvertently gave me the opportunity to explore current issues in my own mind. xxx

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