It Takes a Lot of Energy to Resist Checking What Happened in the World in the Last Hour or Two

It Takes a Lot of Energy to Resist Checking What Happened in the World in the Last Hour or Two

Here’s why you, artist person, should expend the effort to avoid checking social media when the urge strikes you. And I’m not excluding myself from this advice, I’m writing to me, first, and hoping it’ll be useful to you as well.

I’m one of those hopeful New Year’s resolutionists. Nothing crazy, nothing that’s part of a never ending list that gets tacked onto every January because the last one didn’t get fully resolved, just one or two things I think I can make happen in my life the next twelve months. I make the plan, and immediately nod and think, “That’s something done, then.”

Naturally, habits are hard to build as well as to break. The two things this year were to read more books—physical, unwieldy, pretentious dead tree editions—and to consume less social media. The former tends to fall prey to my failure at the latter.

But I’ve been able, just the last month or so, to push back successfully against the craving to check Twitter or news feeds (I never took the News app off my iPad and I should have) and get some crispy, potentially-finger-lacerating pages turned.

It sometimes takes a Herculean effort.

But as I have, I’m rewarded with joys like returning to the feeling of being lost in both work and books. Snippets of both just don’t cut it. Anxiety stirred up by news I can do nothing about in the moment overshadows other things.

I do agree we should stay informed. I disagree if that’s presented as a daily or possibly weekly necessity. You have art to make and fuel to consume in order to make it. That takes time, and it requires connection to your soul, however you interpret it.

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