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Posted on Tuesday 14 October 2008 at 8:21 pm

Confessions of a News Junkie


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I'm addicted to news. Particularly political news. I get this same disease pretty badly every four years (with a milder case thrown in every two years), but this time it is worse than ever before. I can't decide if that is because this election seems so much more important than any in recent memory or because I'm more addicted to the internet in general.

I wake up in the morning and immediately get on the 'net and check my RSS reader. There are usually around 200 new feeds waiting for me and I spend a couple of hours going through the blog posts, news articles, etc. I used to have the reader set up to check for new feeds every five minutes and give me an alert, so even when I was working on dissertation stuff, I would be interrupted with a news update five or six times an hour. I quickly decided that wasn't working so I switched to having it check for new feeds every few hours and I try not to work on or near my laptop as much as possible. Now I largely work for a few hours in the late morning/early afternoon and then check back in with the RSS feeds in the evening. There are usually around 400 or 500 or more feeds waiting for me and it takes me several hours to get through them, which I do from about 8:00 until midnight. Since even this isn't enough for me, I go through them while watching MSNBC/CNN/whatever 24-hour news channel has a talking head on it that isn't currently annoying me. I find most of the hosts of TV news shows, especially ones whose name is in the show title, idiots who are more fixated on their own egos than any actual news reporting, but I still watch them. It is crazy.

So with all that, I probably spend more time each day going through news media of various types than I do working on my dissertation and this all leaves me little to no time for reading novels and keeping up with my LJ and absolutely no time for fandom stuff. This has got to stop (she says while half typing and half watching Keith Olbermann, one of the most egotistical and annoying of the talking heads). Today I deleted two sites from my RSS reader that probably account for at least half of my feeds so I'm hoping that will help. I'm also considering moving some feeds (especially those for author blogs and novel review sites) into a separate category on my reader and only looking at those on the weekend. But I've got to do something else to get more work done and reclaim my life from the constant news. Or I can just accept this all as inevitable until after the election. Any suggestions?

EDIT: I forgot to mention one bit of information that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm way too addicted to political news; I had a dream about John McCain the other night!

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