Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Choosing not to stay informed

I stopped attending to the news (newspaper, TV) about 30 years ago. I found it too depressing. The only exception I made were a couple of very small town newspapers that reported local events and a lot of good stuff about the town's residents.

My parents watched the news every night; they felt it was really important to stay informed. And so I felt guilty for a while when I stopped knowing what was going on in the world. But now I don't.

I revisit my decision from time to time, but I've yet to change my mind. Here's why. First, a large percentage of the news is meant to frighten us into accepting the untrue and unacceptable and lettingcorporations make money on "fixing" the problem. There is little celebration of all the many beautiful, wonderful, kind, and generous things people do for each other, so we get a very skewed outlook.

Second, if something earth-shattering happens, someone will let me know. I don't need to worry about that.

Third, I don't have enough time left in my life to spend on lies, fabrications, manipulations, and demagogues. I don't want to focus my energy on bad behavior and greed and violence. I want to experience the best of others and to do that in person.

I don't feel I'm in denial about the malfaisance and idiocies of our culture and world; I just don't need to know a lot more about it than I already do. 

What is your relationship with the news?

1 comment:

Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer said...

My husband watches the news religiously, as your parents did. I avoid it, because it's depressing and skewed. I actually get most of my news from Facebook newsfeed which highlights ten or so trending items with links to related posts. I like this because the picks come from readers' choices, so even if I only glance at the headlines, I can tell what people are interested in at the moment. If I want to know more than the first sentence, I can look at a post. I choose the NYT or some other reliable source for the information. I find that when it's time for the 6:00 news, I'm just about as well informed as my huusband, without the sensationalism.

I also listen to NPR when I foster cats, because the radio calms them. Often, however, I learn more than I want to know.