Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Living in Oblivion

Is it wrong that I get most of my news from Facebook? When I had a career before kids, I used to start my day sitting in my office reading the news online, browsing around CNN, Yahoo, and ABC news sites. I certainly don't have the time to start my day like that now, but Facebook makes it easy with trending topics right there, updated constantly on my homepage, and available to view on my phone throughout the day. The downside of course is that you have to hope your pool of "friends" have newsworthy posts. I do have to scroll through the Farmville and "what my kid did today" posts to see some good topics, but they are there and easily accessible. And my "news" may be more biased to sports and entertainment popular culture than global events, but its better than being oblivious to anything outside of preschool and the first grade.

Before Facebook, I spent a good deal of my motherhood living in oblivion. Its pretty easy to opt out of the news outside of your house when very little of that seems to affect the children filled microcosm within. I just didn't care enough to spend any time seeking news. When my kids were little, my focus wasn't so much on the national economy, as it was on the economy of parenting; managing the constant feedings and diaper changes, and bartering for naps. Wars in distant places weren't forefront in my mind as much as my children beating on each other in the playroom; I guess I needed some peace here before I really wanted to think about peace on a larger scale. I openly admit there have been whole days, sometimes weeks, that I've been completely oblivious to any news outside of my door. But in my defense, I'm not a complete idiot, I've always caught up. I'm just usually a few days late in digesting the week's news.

I'm sure my husband thought I was becoming an idiot. That his Ivy League educated wife was choosing to live in a hole. He'd start off a conversation sarcastically saying, "You wouldn't know this because it was the headline news all day today, but . . ." He used to try to keep me current by circling articles in the paper for me to read and leaving them on the counter. And then he moved on to just dropping The Wall Street Journal in front of me on his way out the door saying, "Here, get smart". But the fact is, with Facebook I now know current events before he does. I knew Michael Jackson died within minutes of the press releasing the news, and I was the one who broke the news to my husband that McNabb was leaving the Eagles, his beloved Eagles. I didn't get this news from the AP, but rather FB. Amongst the daily horoscopes and gaming high scores, there are also mentions of earthquakes, floods, and trapped miners. Maybe its not quite right that I use Facebook as an actual news source, but it does seem to keep me informed and for now its better than no news at all. And now I get to say to my husband, "You wouldn't know this because you never check Facebook, but . . ."

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