This is What Happened to Me After Three Years Without Reading News

Lavendaire Nguyen
Jan 25 · 6 min read
Source: Robert V. Ruggiero

Three years ago, like a lot of people I knew, I loved reading and watching the news, especially drama and bad news.

The more bad news I read, the more attention I paid to what’s scary and infuriating.

I enjoyed every gossip about celebrities and political scandals. I ate with news. I drank my coffee with news. I slept with news. I woke up with news.

I tried to keep updated with everything in the world to make sure I wasn’t left behind. I consumed news to make me feel “not missed out” when talking with friends.

I wasn’t a loudmouth, but I gossiped because I wanted to become a goody-goody. I didn’t want to be separated. I wanted to be involved.

If I was in a group, and they talked about something I didn’t know, I felt terrible. I felt like I was out of touch.

“Am I careless?” “Bad things are happening, but I have no idea?” These thoughts made me chase news every single day.

Things kept going like that until one day, my mom called me.

After a short conversation, she asked, “Why are you so negative? You are my shining, happy star, remember?”

About this, let me explain to you. I grew up with positivity in my heart. I always laughed with a lot of energy. I rarely complained about anything. I wasn’t frustrated. I never said any negative thing to my parents.

But that day was the first time I did.

I told her about how I was scared about this world. How I wanted to go back home instead of staying in the city. How I was so worried about my future.

She didn’t believe she was talking with her little… daughter!

That’s a bad part of me three years ago.

Now my life changed. It sounds hard to believe because who believes just stopping reading news can change a life? But it happens.

As Max Brooks said this well:

Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has.

Now I’ll tell you how quitting the news changed my life forever!

Less gossip

I felt like every day I went to the office, I had to collect some “bad news” just for having something to chat with others.

Fear of missing out? Perhaps.

But one thing changed since I stopped reading bad news, and it’s the thing I noticed quite early: I stopped gossiping.

From a person who didn’t miss anything, I became silent. My friends and colleagues looked at me like I’m some strange animals they’ve never seen before. “You really have no idea what’s going on?”

I separated myself from gossip conversations. And if I had to be with them and the topic was bad news, I chose to leave for good. I didn’t justify my actions, it’s simply my choice to move.

Better reading choices

Since I stopped reading news, I have more time to read useful blogs and books. I dig deep into my industry and learn a lot.

I also find opportunities to connect with people who have the same interests as mine. We share ideas and collaborate to create amazing things that I never thought I could do.

Read three books on a topic and you know more about it than 99% of the world. Watch news all day for years and you have a distant, water-cooler-level awareness of thousands of stories, at least for the few weeks each is popular. David Cain

There are many better ways to be updated. Reading news isn’t one of them.

More focus and more things done

When a story developed, I wanted to know how it continued. What was the consequence? Who would be involved? The list goes on. I was obsessed with these questions until I knew the answers. It’s like a drug, and I got addicted to it.

I was lucky to realize that after three years of news addiction, now I get my attention back and use it for reading or watching what’s important to me.

News doesn’t help anything in my life. It doesn’t help me make better decisions. It doesn’t help me understand the world. It doesn’t help me build a meaningful relationship with others. It just keeps me away from the important things in my life.

Let’s make math:

If you read a newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, 15 minutes during lunch, 15 minutes before you go to bed, 5 or 10 minutes here and there when you’re at work, 10 or up to 45 minutes (if you take the train) on the way to come back home, then count distraction and refocusing time, you’ll lose at least one hour every day or half a day every week.

If you’re interested in some hot news, you may spend more time reading it in other newspapers to get more details. Time passes quickly, and you end a day without completing anything.

Is that worth your time?

The answer is an absolute NO!

More time to care and love

I have more time to care about my loved ones. I’m not distracted when they talk to me. I give them my full attention and show up whenever they need me.

I get closer to the people I love, and we’re happier than ever.

I become a better person than I was before.

“You changed. You can’t just ignore these issues. It’s our civic duty to stay informed. You just care about yourself.”

Some people told me that.

They think I am naive and careless. But they don’t know I care much.

I couldn’t do anything to the world if I just read bad news and gossip about it with others.

So, I am happy if I don’t have them as friends in my life. No one can please everyone.

My positive thinking was built

I’m more positive than ever. No news is good news.

One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers. Gwendolyn Brooks

Perhaps, I just want to become a cat.

Before someone asks

The news I still read is all about marketing, technology, and education — things that are related to my interests and help my career.

Quitting the news doesn’t mean my life is perfect, or I view the world through rose-colored glasses.

The world out there is like chaos, I know. But I choose to surround myself with good, positive things. And I don’t want to sacrifice my attention.

I don’t feel guilty because now I have more time to do things that I know they’re good for a lot of people.

I’m satisfied with my decision, but I’m not telling you to do the same. If you can control what reading news affects your life, don’t change anything.

I changed my habit out of curiosity, and I like how it turned out.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment, in mind, body, and soul.

Lavendaire Nguyen

Written by

Professional Writer and Freelance Writer to Hire.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment, in mind, body, and soul.

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