I stopped watching the news at some point between 9/11 and now. I don't remember exactly when.
But it was absolutely sucking out my happiness like a dementor. Every time I turned it on, there was some asinine political battle, a horrific crime, terrorism or a new reason to be fearful of food, water, air or the insect-borne disease of the day.
I shut down all news inputs. No news apps on my phone, it's never on TV, and I only listen to a local radio talk show that is funny and occasionally discusses local events that are of interest to me.
I developed a test for all sources of information that come into my eyes or ears. It's a very simple test. For any media type, the answer to the two following questions have to be yes for it to be allowed into my brain:
- Does it entertain me (make me laugh, bring me joy, make me think)?
- Does it give me power?
A lot of people who are news junkies, and yet distressed by everything they read or see, tell me "I want to be informed." Why? If the information doesn't give you any power, and just gives you anxiety - being informed has no value whatsoever. Examples of knowledge that give you power include:
- Weather reports. It's good to know if a tornado the size of a skyscraper is headed your way - that's information you can use to run into the bathroom with your mattress and your shoes on. (ALWAYS have your shoes on when there's severe weather about - many people are injured after they've survived a severe weather event because they are barefoot. See? I just gave you power.)
- Tutorials - education and skills always give you power.
Blocking the barrage of terrible stories I can do nothing about has improved my quality of daily life more than any other single thing I've ever done, I think.
In social media, I just unfollow people who post (even once) about the news or politics. As a result, my feeds are full of art and funny people, or people who post just about their daily lives, which is much more interesting than news and politics.
I highly recommend trying my test for three months and see if it is not life-changing and calming for you. And I promise you will not be eaten by a chupacabra just because you didn't know about it rampaging through some area 2,000 miles away.
This spring we went on the annual pilgrimage to Santa Fe, and prowled the art galleries. There's always endless inspiration there. For some reason, there were more photography exhibits this year, and one of my favorite stops on Canyon Road had some incredible antique photographs, including many cyanotypes.
It should not come as a huge surprise to you that this is one of my favorite printing techniques since the result is a glorious expanse of shades of blue.
I had it written down on a receipt from the trip (this is why I never can find my ideas again) to do a faux cyanotype technique for a card, so I gave it a whirl today when I had a minute. It's very easy and fun. I made a little notecard set using four stamp sets.
Here's a closer look at the individual cards. This one features the ship image from Traveler.
The Wilderness Awaits.
And, saving the cat for last - this image is from Sitting Here.
Isn't that color amazing? The ink I used is Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, and I applied with my Clarity Stamp Stencil Brushes.
That gorgeous sentiment is from Flourishing Phrases - I think maybe in the top three sentiment sets in the catalog.
I actually had a little crafty time this weekend so I made a video too - enjoy!
So thanks for stopping by - I can't wait to hear how your news blackout goes! I think if enough of us tune out, someone might get the message that a GOOD news network is what we want.