There was a time that I didn't feel bad about the fact that I don't watch the news or read the paper because I knew that if something big happened I would find out about it. I have to admit that isn't likely to happen these days. If I accidentally end up on a political blog, it only takes a minute for me to be thoroughly confused.
When I was a kid, I heard news whether I wanted to or not because there were only three channels and they aired shows for everyone in the family with news breaks in between. Now with satellite and TiVo, I never have to watch anything that I don't want to see so I've edited news coverage right out of my life. We all have access to more information venues than ever before, but I find myself narrowing my focus. I think I am a bit dumber as a result.
My knowledge pool has grown stagnant and not just in the area of current events. At 16, I was pretty well-rounded for a teenager. I knew a lot about movies, music, and books -- not only the stuff that all the kids were interested in, but also stuff that was before my time. Recently, I've done a mental evaluation of myself and realized that I can't call myself a well-read person or a movie buff anymore. I go to the movie theater once a year and my husband watches more DVDs than I do. I couldn't tell you what is on the bestsellers' list right now. When people ask me what my hobbies are, I always say "reading, watchin movies, listening to music" but I can't do that anymore because it gets me into deep conversational waters where I can't swim. It is scary to wake up and find that you are not the same person anymore. What have I been doing with myself?