Why I don’t read the news, and how it affects me very little.
“You haven’t heard the news? Syria took over Palmyra.”
“No” I replied.
“So, you never read the news, you don’t care what’s going on in the world?”
This is a conversation I had with my partner the other night.
Let me ask you, do you listen to the world news? How about the local news?
If you answered yes to either one of those questions, how does it make you feel?
Do you feel angry, sad, happy? Do you feel in control, or do you feel like you don’t have any power to do anything, but rather be a spectator of the savagery that is broadcasted?
The sad news, pun intended, is that the news is always sad. Okay, at least the lion share of the news is always bad news.
So, why am I not interested in hearing about the news?
Everything that is going on in the world will eventually affect me, my children or my grandchildren or those people around me. Why do I not take part in participating in the world events, or even in the local ones?
The reason for my madness is that I would rather focus on my choices than the choices that other people make. I would rather see my world the way I want to see it and the way I want to shape it rather than hearing about how brutal it is.
There is an old saying
“What you don’t know won’t (can’t) hurt you.”
As much as this adage is true it does have some limitations.
For example, not knowing something like a terminal illness, can and will hurt you, and the sooner you know about it the more chances of you being able to do something about it in terms of treatment, if not completely eliminating it from your system then at least prolonging your life.
My purpose is to create my own news in my world.
I don’t want to claim ignorance, and it may sound like I have already with the way I conduct my behavior and opinions.
There are terrible things that happen every day, a lot of which we don’t hear or see, and a lot of which we do. If I told you that there is more good then evil would you believe me?
Now that we are equipped with cameras and voice recorders we can all be considered journalists.
The thing about the media and bad news is that bad news sells. It sells to the masses. Fear is an emotion that is more likely shareable then happiness.
Mary C Lamia Ph.D. In her article Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings suggests that there is sometimes confusion between fear and anxiety, however, both of these emotions are “understood as keys to the dynamics of emotional illness”.
“Fear is not only important for survival but also for decision making, it has an impact on our judgments and choices in the situation.”
We can see here that fear is a powerful motivator. What the media is good at is using this powerful tool to motivate the public to watch and spread the news. It is no wonder why every news agency will talk about the same thing that has happened.
Have you ever noticed that when nothing is worth talking about, or “news” worthy then the media finds something so trivial to discuss? Like someone’s latest fashion fopa or that a hit musician was exposed for being nude in public.
“If it is important enough I will hear about it” (That’s what I always say to someone who wonders why I haven’t heard about the recent news) The time in which I hear about it matters and when I hear about it, it must be the right time for it to be heard.
It’s not that I don’t care about the news, quite the contrary, I care about it too much. I know it affects me, and I feel there is very little energy and time to spare on things that may matters least to me at the very moment it is broadcasted to the world.
If I look at it in an economist viewpoint, applying the cost-benefit analysis, I can see that the cost outweighs any benefit. This analysis does not only discriminate against bad news, it applies to good news too.
Thank you for reading this post, I presume you can make your own judgment on whether the news is benefiting you or whether it is a mere distraction that can be replaced with something much more “newsworthy”.
To be continued….
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Originally published at karasingroup.com on December 15, 2016.