This last week I was in the Midwest attending to my ailing father, and among other things during the trip, I changed my consumption of information. I carried a cellphone with me, so that I could be available to family and friends. I read the newspaper at the hotel (hey, it was free). I even watched some television--mostly CNN in my father's hospital room. Normally I don't carry a cellphone, read the newspaper, or watch tv, and this last week reminded me of why I don't.
I strongly prefer exerting control over what I think about and react to and when I do it. Now, if I'm in a burning building--I want to know about it, even if I'm thinking about something else. But, most things in the paper and on TV are not things I really care about, and yet just being exposed to them takes up time and energy on my part that would be better spent elsewhere. Even after I turn off the television or fold the newspaper, I still think about about what I saw and read. With phone calls, while I appreciate talking with people, but the calls often interrupt other activities. (Thank goodness for e-mail).
So, day-to-day, I carefully regulate incoming information as part of prioritizing what I think about. I read the Economist each week, for I tend to value what it covers and how it does so. Other than that... my ignorance of what the media says is is bliss, and, if something is really important, someone will tell me about it. Other than that, I want to be thinking about my research, my family, my faith, UConn basketball, etc... stuff that I see as even more important that the latest political scandal or what celebrities are saying.