8.24.2015

Back to the Real World

It is my first full day back in Wisconsin after a pretty fun week biking in Ireland. Upon my return, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and I have some new ideas for making some modifications to my lifestyle.

I like being able to get away from my life and travel in a different setting for a week or two. It helps me to re-evaluate things for some reason, and gives me a more objective perspective on my life.

One thing really enjoyed while I was in Ireland was the lack of any mainstream media coverage of American politics, or anything at all. Since I was there biking with my bike team, TEAM CRAZY BIRD, we were mostly out biking and enjoying our vacations, with no exposure to radio, TV, newspapers, etc. It was refreshing and I started to realize that mainstream media in America is responsible for a considerable portion of my baseline stress and anxiety levels. I actually think this is by design. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but corporate mainstream media and their advertising overlords thrive on viewer fear and anxiety. There is even a phrase for this: DISASTER CAPITALISM. Mainstream media and advertising figured out that consumer fear is correlated with consumer behavior (voting certain ways, buying certain things, obeying certain authorities), often irrational behavior, but still predictable. And predictability is good for sales.

Anyway, I wax philosophical. The point is, I feel much better and less stressed when I am shielded from mainstream media messages. So I have decided to disenfranchise mainstream media even more so than I had in the past.

A consequence of this is that I need to stay off of the Facebook. That so-called "social" media application is where I often get a lot of mainstream media information, when it is shared by my Facebook "friends." At the end of the day, to use a phrase I actually hate (but it works here), it's all a bunch of BS. In reality, I am not all that interested in what my "friends" post on Facebook. I just think I am when I see their posts. Whether I like or dislike a post is completely irrelevant. It's THEIR POST! So why do I waste so much time looking at those posts and commenting? I don't know. But I do know not having exposure to those media links will in no way affect my life, and might even make it better.

I hypothesize I will have lower anxiety and also waste far less time clicking on useless random memes, which only serve to infuriate me most of the time. Staying off "the Face" will be a test of this thesis. I plan to only use Facebook once a week or less, and then only if necessary, say, if I want to post a clever or well written blog post (this one is neither!).

That's not to say I intend to remain uninformed, just that I will not get my information from the mainstream media, which is not very informative anyway. The diarrhea that spews from Donald Trump's mouth, for example, is completely of no usefulness to anyone. It's entertainment, not even infotainment, because it lacks any informative content.

The mainstream media no longer even attempt to do proper news analysis or investigative journalism anymore, so they are just filters for whatever lunacy politicians care to spout, taken at face value.

The only real news analysis being conducted these days comes in the form of satire, such as John Stewart and John Oliver.

So, I just wanted to let you all know that you won't be seeing me as much on the Face. Some of you are probably actually glad to hear that, and that's cool.

Ciao.

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