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Around here, we talk alot about the things that affect people. We think about how an endless news cycle of gloom-and-doom changes the way we see the world and how it makes us feel about ourselves. As Ariane recently noted in her blog, when we are faced with times of crisis, our primary emotional patterns will come out even more strongly during the upheaval. So, angry people will become angrier, people who blame will blame even more, people who are full of fear will become more fearful. And people who are grateful will become more grateful, people who are focused on helping will find more ways to help.
Geting caught up in the 24-hour news cycle will exacerbate emotions, too. And it's easy, when watching a debate or a news program, to start talking back or yelling at the television (c'mon, you know you do it too.) And if you watch the news while you're getting ready for the day, and then refresh headlines all day at work, you're carrying the negative energy and tension with you.
Some of us have decided to stop watching the news in the morning, stop letting it pervade our every hour. It's not that we don't want to know what's happening in the world—but we want our mindsets to be positive going into the day! How about you—is the constant bad news getting you down? How are you coping with that, and do you think there's something to be said for making news less of a focus in your life? [New York Times]
About a year ago, I decided to stop watching the drive-by nets every night, and I'm much happier as a result. It's not a case of ignorance is bliss. I'm still very aware of what's going on around me, but I just don't need to sit on the sofa every night watching a bunch of blowhards throwing spin/bs at me.
I struggle about this very issue. I don't want to be in the category of people who believe "well if it's not good news, I don't want to know about it," because that strikes me as too ignorance is bliss. I DO want to know. At the same time, so much of the news IS negative, and sometimes not really accurately. There are certain issues that are negative and should be portrayed as such (poverty, war, hunger), but American news peeps tend to choose other stories just to "wow" by means of dramatic factors.
The author of another blog said he was trying to get back 120 minutes every day, and the first thing he targeted as taking up most of his time was constantly checking political blogs and news sites. I think it's great to be informed, but usually that hour's crisis that consumes you will turn out to be a forgotten blip by the next day, so I'm taking a few cues and cutting out a bit of news as well.
personally i've been bugging out about all this news. to combat it, i've been going to the gym almost every day, and trying to watch at least one funny show or movie a day (even the daily show or the colbert report helps me to laugh at it all). i don't think that being informed will ever be something i let go of in my life, but this is how i've found ways to get around feeling so trapped by it.