Thursday, July 2, 2015

Burstin’ the Bubble

I’ve spent the last two weeks living in a virtual bubble. The time has been spent on a travel based project for work, consuming 20 out of 24 hours per day and at the beginning and end of the trip, a 46 hour stretch of sleeplessness. I usually try to maintain some basics of my “normal” life whenever I travel (either personally or professionally). I like to read a newspaper or at the very least capture the headlines. I find it keeps me in tuned into the world and centered around a shared interests of mutual importance. Even when I’m on a cruise ship I peruse the news digest they publish. In this case, however, I was off in a bubble, largely unaware of world events.

Days after returning the chaos of the project continued and another matter became all consuming. The bubble continued out of necessity. The usual reprieve after such intensity hasn’t occurred – with the 2 to 3 hours a night of sleep quickly becoming the norm stateside as well. Physically and emotionally that can’t continue and I look forward to this long holiday weekend as the perfect antidote.

Being in the bubble, however, provides a unique perspective. It shields one from what’s happening in the world, let alone one’s community. It becomes a safe place to be. Conflict is less, worries are gone. I mean, can any of us really affect the events that are reported? Saving the hour or so each day of being ‘connected’ in order to manage jobs, schedules for kids and an array of other items might be a far better us of limited time and focus. Most of what gets ‘reported’ is a regurgitated press release put out by lobbyists, special interests or others, right?

Living in a protective bubble for a couple of weeks can refreshing – permitting the return to engage with current events with fresh eyes and fresh perspective. I myself am hoping for that in the days to come. But to make the bubble permanent – to only surface sporadically for news and to surround oneself with opinions and beliefs that are similar to ones one only serves to further isolate constituents from their representatives and community, which is bad for democracy.

As the United States celebrates the Declaration of its Independence this July 4th weekend for the 239th time, it is an appropriate time to burst the bubble many Americans live in.

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