Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can’t get away from the news


I’ve been on vacation since last Friday.

As part of that vacation, I intended on unplugging from work completely. Since work is the news, I have tried to not pay attention. I don’t want to go into unintentional copy editor mode. I don’t want to be driven to think of a local angle for an international story. And I don’t want to mentally plan follow-ups to unanswered questions I may have.

I’ve never understood when I try to talk to people about a current events topic and they make a claim that sounds something like, “I don’t pay attention to the news.”

How is that even possible? I’m even more perplexed by it after the last week — as I intentionally tried to not pay attention to the news and was bombarded by it nonetheless.

Case in point: There I was minding my own business Monday night. Just sitting on my porch watching the drama that is my neighborhood, texting the girl about life … and she says, “Topic change. Syria.”

Seriously? I don’t want to think about Syria. I’m on vacation. But foreign policy riles me up and I had no choice but to take the bait. And as such, we talked about U.S. foreign policy for an hour or so.

Second example: There I was minding my own business Wednesday morning. Just sitting on my couch perusing my Facebook feed … and I run across a local news story posted by one of my Facebook friends. No! I tried covering my eyes and not reading it. But it didn’t work. Suckered into the news once again.

There are numerous other examples, I assure you. But those were the most heinous.

When I get back to work on Sunday, I’ll have to first sit down and read a week’s worth of papers, catching up on all the things I undoubtedly missed. But I have a feeling there won’t be that many surprises. Because whether I want to or not, I’m constantly connected. Which, again, is how I don’t understand how people can say they don’t pay attention to the news.

•••

One other thought as my summer vacation comes to an end is that so do my girls’ summer vacations as they head back to school next week.

I know most parents have been counting down to kids going back to school and getting out of their hair, but I’m not really looking forward to it. It’s been nice to have them around the house when I’m actually home; working nights makes it difficult to spend quality time with “the kidses.”

So with school back in session and me back at work, I’ll start counting down to our next vacation — when I can hang out with the kids and try to ignore the news.

Scott Leffler is a news junkie and father to the most incredible daughters — listed in reverse order of importance. Follow him on twitter @scottleffler.