What Is the One News Story You Won't Consume?


I don’t really know much about Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” I’ve never seen the video, I’ve never listened to the song. The only thing I know about it is that maybe this teenage girl had parents who gave her studio sessions as a birthday present? Something like that. I plan to go on forever not knowing for sure, because I decided I just didn’t want to.

When did “Friday” come out? I don’t know, though my gchat history has a rough estimate of the date. In March of 2011, we see my first reference to this song I still don’t really know anything about:

Bill: You know the song “Friday”? blahblah blah Rebecca Black
me: I have actually refused to listen to it
Bill: Aw you totally should, just to listen to the faux Bob Dylan cover. It’s wonderful
me: I just like, I read everything and watch everything on the internet. This is my one thing.
Bill: Okay you’re allowed one thing
me: I feel like this is good for me

To another friend who would try to convince me to consume “Friday” I would later write, “I kind of want to hold out. It makes me feel powerful.”

My occasional decision to practice media-avoidance recently cropped up with that plane that disappeared (was it a flight going to Malaysia or just an Malaysian Airlines plane? Don’t ask me; I have no idea). When I first heard about it, I was certain this plane would be found shortly and assured myself that there no point in diving into conspiracy theories about it as there would soon be a conclusion. I would be able to read one story about all of it and that would be that. But as the days have passed, it’s become quite clear that this particular saga isn’t wrapping up as quickly as I wanted, thus making my original rule to not engage with stories about this missing plane more and more difficult, both logistically and professionally.

As TLDR pointed out recently, there’s a whole group of people who practice media-avoidance each year around the Super Bowl for betting purposes, attempting to see who can last the longest without finding out which team won. They do it as a game; I do it occasionally for my own sanity.

What’s the story that you’ve avoided? Videos, articles, memes – whatever. It follows you on Twitter, it shows up on you Facebook page, people talk about it real life and yet…you decided not to engage. Didn’t it feel so good?

Image via Australian Maritime Safety Authority/AP

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