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Bye bye, angry birdie

Jody Vance: Deleting Twitter from my phone was a relief – too much time and energy was being sunk into news from another country. Time to refocus more on local issues and leaders.

Monday saw a long overdue move towards lower stress levels: I deleted Twitter from my phone.

I’m still a Twitter consumer. You can still find my handle on there @jodyvance – but Twitter will no longer consume me.

It is almost embarrassing to acknowledge how much real estate that platform was taking up in my head. The immediate impact of watching that little bird fly from my iPhone home screen was visceral, as I realized just how often I hit that icon.

Way. Too. Often.

Prior to hitting delete, and vowing to only check in on my laptop working on business (radio/podcast/column), it struck how this move would impact how I consume trends. How will information flow in Twitter’s absence? The need for news remains, but it need not be at the whim of @jack and his algorithms.

My reliance on Twitter, and associated platforms, had made me a bit lazy about what really matters.

In just one day, I could feel the space left by reducing my intake of US political chaos, nasty divisiveness and fearmongering. I could repurpose that space into considering what should always be the priority: what’s happening HERE, in BC.

So many Canadians have ever-so-slowly shifted focus to the US political landscape, away from here. That’s not healthy. Think about how many discussions you’ve had about Trump America in the last few months and years. Now ask yourself if you’re as up to speed on who’s running the show(s) where you’re actually paying the way.

In some ways, it’s not as easy as it used to be. Print publications that once landed on our doorsteps are shuttering, local news stories are eclipsed by central newsrooms, and content is “repurposed” for various markets.

Enter publications like the one you’re reading. Having been a part of The Orca since day one, I can tell you that this is a resource to stay informed. Hardworking people here go to great lengths to share diverse perspectives and well-researched and verified facts. Devoid of click-bait, I’m proud to be part of a space that aspires to a high tide of must-read.

Simply put, The Orca is a hyper-local publication with a mandate to inform British Columbians about their government, at all levels. It focuses on community and where our tax dollars are being spent – again, as a conscious contrast to the exhausting (and for Canadians, mostly pointless) feeding frenzy of US politics.

You might have heard me mention The Fin. It’s my new Twitter feed. Too often on my iPhone, I’d only get to a couple columns before flipping back on Twitter and seeing what some Karen in the United States was up to.

Bye, Karen.

The Fin – a free daily email – is what I wish my Twitter feed could be. The Fin doesn’t harvest your data, it doesn’t comb your online world to send specific ads your way. It is only a daily curated email featuring articles from around the province about BC Politics and important happenings that could impact your life or livelihood. Nothing more, nothing less.

The struggles we are witnessing south of the border are certainly not to be taken lightly, nor ignored. But we must recognize a symptom of the brokenness of the American Dream in 2020 is that so many screaming into the wind stopped learning truths and facts — are only believing the clickbait literally designed to entice them.

In BC, we are finding how truly unique we are here. Some things have evolved and changed in ways that might see your opinions and politics evolve. Our politics was once quite famous for being *ahem* a bit over the top. But today, we are a beacon of light, with an opposition and government who’ve joined forces in the face of COVID 19 – and crucially, allowed science to lead us.

Politics will restart and re-establish itself here in BC, a process that deserves all of our eyeballs. Now is the time to be extra invested in what is happening, and how our municipal leaders are – or are not – stepping up for their constituents. How the MLAs represent us in the Legislature. How the Premier communicates our provincial needs to the federal government, and on, and on.

Ask most folks to name five local mayors and they can’t, but they’re more likely to name the leaders of the US House and Senate. No shade here; knowing is better than not knowing, but not at the expense of local knowledge.

For me, it was time for some house cleaning; to trim the noise of social media and make room and time to engage on a truly local level, by reading publications — this one or others you find informative. We’re living in a time like no other; it’s never been more important to do local due diligence.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.