July 09 2016
Sanity

It Might be Time for a Media Diet

Imagine how improved our society could be if the news was a public service, like the old days, and not a form of entertainment, vying for viewers and ad dollars with headlines that are barely a step above click-bait such as “celebrities you can’t believe are dead!”  How different the “news” would be.  Smart people investigating important topics and telling us what we need to know to make our country and the world a better place.  But alas, what we have instead is an overly-sensational media that bombards us with nonsense and noise and often fosters the wrong national conversations.  I’m looking at you, transgender bathroom bans.

With the presidential election especially, I’ve decided it’s time to bring some minimalism into my media consumption — a news diet is in order.  Life is too short.  I have a love hate relationship with the New York Times.  It is still one of the few powerhouses of important journalism, publishing some incredible investigative stories that impact our world.  But alas, even my beautiful gray lady cannot seem to resist the allure of writing stories about things that “could happen,” usually in regard to this interminable election.  You know what news is – things that happened.  Things that “could happen”?  Not news.  I’m checking out.

Far worse than that, is attempting to watch my local news at night to see the weather.  It’s like watching the Amityville Horror before bed!  Nothing but murder and mayhem.  Of course I could watch people recite their talking points on cable news if the local news is too gory, but I just can’t even get it up for that anymore.  And there is no way I’m signing up to look at Gretchen Carlson’s face for the next two weeks.

My tip for *sanity* today – take a break from the news.  It is not your duty to be intimately aware of every gruesome murder that happens in this country.  It’s not good for your brain or your soul.  It is OK to look away, I promise.  Yes, be aware of important social injustices.  Be on the right side.  Speak out. Vote.  But passively viewing the world through its most violent lens day in day out doesn’t do anyone any good and it doesn’t help people who are suffering from tragedy.  All we can do is put goodness out to the people and the communities that we come in contact with.  We should do it.

There are important things going on in this country – things we need to be aware of, but honestly, the vast majority of “information” out there is noise that is just pointlessly overstretching your bandwith (literally) to no fruitful end.  It’s a waste of time that would be better spent practicing your ukulele.  If you care about any issue in this country, any single one, from guns, to taxes, to environmental issues, to consumer protections, the news doesn’t matter – there is but one singular root cause for every injustice that we suffer and it is the only national conversation we should be having.  John McCain said it best back when he used to tell the truth – every problem we face in this country exists because of the way we finance our nightmarish never-ending campaigns… because corporations are allowed to openly bribe our government and literally draft legislation.  That is all we need to know.

Just like that, hours of your week – back on the table!

 

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  • I have been cutting back on the amount of news consumption in my life. Today, it feels like the news is mainly a way of trying to work people up instead of reporting an unbiased account of events. I’m with you – it feels like the time to take a break from most mainstream media!

  • When I was younger I worked the front desk at several hotels. One of the hotels the GM wanted the news playing 24-7 in the lobby. When I quit that job I stopped watching the news regularly, that was 11 years ago and I don’t miss it. Every once in a while I’ll browse a news site but it was just too emotionally draining to watch the news several hours a day.

    1. Brian 10:04pm 10 July - 2016 - Reply

      I’ve been thinking the same thing the last few days. There’s way too much tension for my blood.

    2. Amy 12:55pm 09 July - 2016 - Reply

      When I was younger I worked the front desk at several hotels. One of the hotels the GM wanted the news playing 24-7 in the lobby. When I quit that job I stopped watching the news regularly, that was 11 years ago and I don’t miss it. Every once in a while I’ll browse a news site but it was just too emotionally draining to watch the news several hours a day.

      • Brooklyn Bread 05:25pm 09 July - 2016 - Reply

        Smart girl. It’s just exhausting. Mental energy is not an unlimited resource!

    3. Thias @It Pays Dividends 12:11pm 09 July - 2016 - Reply

      I have been cutting back on the amount of news consumption in my life. Today, it feels like the news is mainly a way of trying to work people up instead of reporting an unbiased account of events. I’m with you – it feels like the time to take a break from most mainstream media!

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