I had happy realization recently that I was spending way too much time tracking current events that had no bearing on my life or the lives of people around me. We live in an era of "too much news".
A simple action like opening the browser app or swiping left on your phone can suck you in to reading about current events; events that a multi-billion dollar company deems worth your attention based on your recent activity online.
It was supposed to be a feature to keep you up to date. Instead, it zaps your attention, distracting you from experiencing the current moment.
I've turned off News articles in Chrome using `chrome://flags`.
Turned off Google now. I still find myself checking Google News, but at least that's on my own terms. I've blocked click-baity news sources. I want to experiment staying off of news for a week. News can wait. I can read this week's news next week.
There are simply too many things to be concerned about, and I'm cursed with a slightly obsessive personality trait when it comes to exploring the unknown.
Ignorance is bliss.
I've also considerably cut down on Facebook. I check it maybe once a week? It gets easier to stay off it as time passes by. Occasionally I post something, only to delete it five minutes later because of how draining it would be if someone were to reply or argue. I passively read Twitter, that too mostly tech stuff. Can't help but check stuff that is trending, but that's more of a reminder-to-self that most of it is unworthy crap.
These are distractions that truly affect productivity. When I worked in a proper office environment, I never found myself distracted by current events. But by myself, working at home, this gets immensely challenging.
Bingeing on YouTube is another attention zapper, but that seems to be under control in my case. Most entertainment media is indistinguishable from white noise. I can't believe some TV shows still exist. The amount of crappy content being funded is astounding. As a guy who can't consume a meal without watching *something*, this supermarket-aisle problem of infinite choice is a real issue. You start seeking out content with familiar tropes (genius doctors, serial killers). Experimentation is a colossal waste of time.
I'm desperately trying to finish a bunch of audiobooks (John Scalzi stuff) but can't seem to find time. Strange, because in hindsight, I actually had a boat-load of free time. When that frustration starts getting to you, it's really....frustrating...
I'm super old now. Thirty-two. I get migraines if I don't consume coffee, and coffee prickles my tummy, so it requires evacuation soon after. That's adulthood for you. You have to watch what you consume...for your physical as well as mental health.