11.8.13

A Guardian Fast - the end?

Barring an inadvertent click on an interesting link, I’m now in day six of complete abstinence from the Guardian website and newspaper. Six days, I surprise myself, of neither logging on to their site nor perusing the paper.

My reason for doing this was simple – I read the Guardian far too much. I don’t believe this is unusual, the subject of how the net is altering and conquering our daily lives is well debated and researched, however last week in the middle of a reasonably exciting book, I became acutely aware of how often I checked the Guardian, Facebook and my email.

In the habit of taking a break every few chapters, to stretch or ponder the plot, I realised that during these breaks I also checked the news – inevitably on the Guardian (no one else has such an excellent website). Furthermore, I’ve recently taken up the habit of stopping by the main University library at Kaisa Talo just to flip through the Guardian and Observer papers because there’s still nothing like good old-fashioned newsprint, even if it’s a few days old.

Of course I like to be well informed, but I concluded that this was either an obsession or an addiction. Quite frankly, I was pleased that my addiction or obsession was as benign, but I knew I was hooked and I didn’t like it.

My original intention was to spend twenty-four hours without checking the Guardian but it proved far easier than I thought though I spent the first day trying to find a viable alternative. Instead, I confirmed why the American military find it necessary to censor their service personnel’s access to it – there is no other as comprehensive, reliable and easy to access online newspaper.   

I’m certain this is the day I break my fast, but who knows? I finished the book without any more Guardian breaks and have managed to steer clear of many inviting headlines and links winking at me from Facebook and Google.

It’s certainly been an interesting exercise - rather like a non-religious Lent.

Next Facebook?

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