/ Politics addiction

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Trevers - on 13 Jun 2017
I'm starting to think that I'm suffering from an addiction to politics and rolling news coverage. I'm in the first year of a computer based PhD and recently I've found it nigh on impossible to focus on anything. I tend to have the Guardian live politics feed open in a web browser and I'm constantly compulsively flicking to it. At other times I'm reading in depth analysis, laughing at memes or degrading myself by replying to some of the more moronic and nasty comments on facebook pages such as Leave.EU. And of course I post of here and sometimes shamefully get overly worked up or abusive.

All this is taking it's toll. My productivity has dropped to almost nothing. Some days, it feels like there's no longer any space left in my head to process anything else at all, which makes trying to think about my project impossible. And, while I'm already unhappy about the state of the country, and anxious about where the world might be heading, the constant barrage of news makes it easy to catastrophise and I end up feeling like a dystopian future is bearing down on me at a terrifying rate. All in all, it's starting to become very damaging.

Has anybody else struggled with this? And does anyone have any advice or mechanisms for coping, switching off, letting go, bearing in mind that I need to be inside at a computer to simply do my project.

It goes without saying but please, no discussion of politics!

aln - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Taking drugs might help.
The Lemming - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Would that be a hard or soft addiction?
Pan Ron - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:
I've had a similar addictions. While I've never taken this course of action myself, the only way I can see you kicking this cruel affliction is to retreat to a part of the country/world where there is no ready internet access until such time as the cravings are gone.

Otherwise, and seriously, I suggest drugs. A night out on mushrooms or a night in on DMT, might provide the mental reset you require.
Post edited at 03:30
Footloose - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

I live in a place where currently the only Internet is a 2G mobile connection, which makes it impossible to snatch quick gasps of sensationalist distraction. As David Martin says, it makes for great productivity. I'm also surrounded by iconic mountains, which is enough incentive to get the work done asap so that I can get out there. (Lunch break on Cul Mor, anyone?!)

Not that that helps you (unless you want to borrow my cottage?)
bouldery bits - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Err.. turn it all off and concentrate.

Or go off out in to the mountains for a weekend without phone to allow a mental reset?
bigbobbyking - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

When you sit down to do work turn off your phone and add something like leach blocker to Firefox to stop you accessing certain websites.

Hopefully that helps with the reflex checking.
Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Step back a pace.
Reflect on what a set of muppets most of our politicians are.
Consider whether you would give them the time of day down your local.
Reassess how much of your valuable energy you are devoting to them.
Greasy Prusiks on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:
Log out of all social media (including UKC).

Break your work/time up into blocks and reward yourself with a short break of a defined length after each block. Don't stay over it. (You could check the news here if you have to but some relaxation is much more beneficial).

Change tac with your project and work on a different section.

That's what I do when I'm procrastinating.

Post edited at 08:13
Hardonicus - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

I know what you mean, ever since Brexit politics seems to have gone up in strength from Moroccan hashish to grade A super skunk. Hard to kick the habit, and there's another big bong hit coming sometime on the summer!

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