For years my exposure to media was limited to my dvd player, my apple tv, and public radio. These with my newspapers, periodicals, and the Internet allowed me, at small economic cost, to choose only those things I wanted, and to easily avoid those things unpleasant to me. I was content.
Feeling sorry for me in my electronic isolation a friend gave me ‘”TV” because she thought I needed to “stay current.” And I tried it. I really did — but found it invariably came with a huge volume of people yelling at me, trying with immense hype to sell me things I had no interest in or use for. And so, while I sincerely appreciating the generosity of my friend, I went back to things that weren’t yelling at me and to things that provided a great variety without so much noise.
The barrage is always expanding. “Lately, our self-appointed disrupters have opened up a new frontier of capitalism, complete with its own frontier ethic: to boldly dig up and monetize every bit of private head space by appropriating our collective attention.” Even airport security has been co-opted. Even the grocery store has been invaded — the hassle of a crowded supermarket is made worse by the public address announcements about specials in the next aisle.
Finding peace-of-mind seems to require active and persistent avoidance — in itself a disquieting thing.