Save Room for Research: Minding Your Media Diet

To conclude this tangent on media literacy and media diets (for now), let’s talk about volume. The other day I read a poem Amy Turn Sharp shared, it simply read “Edit Your Life.”
To curate your content intake is to keep this journey sustainable. Some ideas for getting involved and avoiding the overwhelm:

1. Remember you do not have to be, and in fact cannot be, an expert on all things.

Consider prioritizing a single issue you want to follow all year (and/or) focus your energy on issues that are actually making it onto the agenda.

2. Unsubscribe, Unfollow Uninstall

For every conference I attend, and for every documentary I watch, I end up with a new iOS app, an e-newsletter subscription and an SMS alert. That’s not sustainable. Go through and clear the clutter so you can read and respond to what really matters on an everyday basis.

3. Reduce crap content so your brain has more room for the good stuff.

To make space for positive change, you might have a few extra hours lying around, but many people don’t. Glennon Doyle Melton made her shift from mommy-of-three blogger to New York Times bestseller (and Oprah’s Book Club pick) by giving up her nighttime TV habit.
“For a mom, that’s the finish line. That’s like the promised land. They’re all asleep and it’s the only time to not… have to give anyone any snacks. But I realized, if you want a creative life, you have to give up that hour of TV a night. That’s freaking it.”
If you want to be a force for the issues that shape your life, is a habit like this something you can sacrifice to make change more feasible?
Tell me: How do you unsubscribe and unplug to become your life’s editor-in-chief?

 

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Don’t Agonize, Organize

We’re a year into this administration, and most of us can do better. Loved ones tell me they don’t know where to start and the truth is I have been there too. 2017 was going to be a year of turning heartbreak into action. I did a march, a lobbying event, I actually published the initial version of this post in August, but I didn’t follow through. I gave into overwhelm more often than I stood up for what I believe in. Now, I’m committing to sharing one sustainable step for civic engagement each week for the next year.

diverse group of protesters

image: Abigail Gray Swartz, featuring quote by Florynce Kennedy

How do we fulfill our duty as citizens in a climate like this while ensuring sustainability for ourselves? I’m seeking that sweet spot.

I plan to develop better habits in the process. I hope to provide value to others too, so these steps will start at the very beginning. Maybe these are just reminders and maybe they are new ideas for you. If you’ve already found what works for you, do tell! This space will accommodate a range of voices, including yours.

  • Not every idea is a sustainable step for every person: We each have different resources and limitations.
  • More on this later, but I want to clarify in this first post that ultimately, the responsibility of addressing disparity lies with the privileged.
  • I can only speak directly from my own perspective. My words will be imperfect, but my vision is for us to learn together and acknowledge positive intent as we take this journey.

 

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