A friend finally got me to admit something a couple of months ago. I am a newsie (so is he). What that means is that both of us (along with probably a host of other people with ADD/ADHD tendencies in adulthood) can easily get wrapped up in the rhythm of the news cycle, which is not a cycle anymore, but rather a 24-hour stream of information.
Life as a newsie can be like drinking from a firehose, which at the very least should shield our brains from atrophying, as they are used in a multitude of diverse ways while processing the news.
However, there are at least four hazards to being a newsie that I have noted:
1) I have more of a tendency to be attracted to glitzy prepackaged stories, totally input from outside of myself, than ever before. Indepth analysis and synthesis inside of my brain (read: thought) can lag behind. I have traditionally been a thinker. Some of my current reading comes “predigested” and can easily lead me away from thinking for myself. Not good.
2) I am a reader. I have always been a reader. However, the fast pace of the news cycle can tend to make me a “sound byte” reader who skims the more indepth sections of things, reading lots of articles in a surface way rather than reading a few articles in depth. Not good. It is easy to make mistakes and misunderstand things while skimming. Then what is the point to reading if I don’t read accurately?
3) My newsie world has expanded so far in exponential growth that I read fewer novels than ever before. You know, novels–those things that have been written by people with a wonderful command of the English language. Novels originally taught me how to be a writer. I have often stopped to savor passages in novels–passages where the language itself is breathtaking. I should not abandon them now, as I seek to grow in my skills as a blogger.
4) The news cycle can also replace my serious study of God’s Word (with accompanying study aids). Such study is something that has provided me with delight all life long. It has also helped me grow closer to the Lord. If I replace a wonderful thing, the study of God’s Word, with a lesser thing, devotion to the news cycle, I don’t make the best choice I can make!!!
I am determined to get my balance correct! The news is important but so is reading classic novels and newer works. And studying God’s Word is the most important activity of all!
I will conclude by describing a Dilbert cartoon that caused several of my friends to crack up (me included). It involves a young intern switching to the iPad to read his newspapers. He was reading them in the executive bathroom at work, where many people have read the print edition of the newspaper for centuries. His co-workers then figured out that he was never coming out of the bathroom again due to the fact that iPad newspapers are on a continual update . . . Ha ha ha!