Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


August 30, 2013

LEFFLER: Can't get away from the news

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I’ve been on vacation since last Friday.

As part of that vacation, I planned on unplugging from work completely. Since work is the news, I have tried to not pay attention. I don’t want to go into unintentional copy editor mode. I don’t want to be driven to think of a local angle for an international story. And I don’t want to mentally plan follow-ups to unanswered questions I may have.

I’ve never understood when I try to talk to people about a current events topic and they make a claim that sounds something like, “I don’t pay attention to the news.”

How is that possible? I’m even more perplexed by it after the past week, as I intentionally tried to not pay attention to the news and was bombarded with it anyway.

Case in point: There I was minding my own business Monday night. Just sitting on my porch watching the drama that is my neighborhood, texting the girl about life … and she says, “Topic change. Syria.”

Seriously? I don’t want to think about Syria. I’m on vacation. But foreign policy riles me and I had no choice but to take the bait. And as such, we talked about U.S. foreign policy for an hour or so.

Second example: There I was minding my own business Wednesday morning. Just sitting on my couch perusing my Facebook feed … and I run across a local news story posted by one of my Facebook friends. No! I tried covering my eyes and not reading it. But it didn’t work. I was sucked into the news once again.

There are numerous other examples, I assure you. Those were merely the most heinous.

When I get back to work Sunday, I’ll have to first sit down and read a week’s worth of papers from the region, catching up on all the things I undoubtedly missed. And I have a feeling there won’t be that many surprises. Because whether I want to or not, I’m constantly connected. Which, again, is why I don’t understand how people can say they don’t pay attention to the news.

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