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Mar 13

Why You Need To Stop Consuming The News

I remember one thing that the economic collapse of 2008-09 did to me.

No, I didn’t lose my job or house or anything like that. It caused me to seek answers. I started to dig into the whole system. Why are they giving billions of dollars to the same people whose actions caused them to fail in the first place? Surely if they fail they deserved it, and now a new fresh business can step in to take over the void? Heck, it could even be said they caused the whole collapse in the first place.

I was reading or watching hundreds of news stories about it. Oil was rising to incredible heights, were we at peak oil or did we already pass it? This whole thing called civilization is going to collapse and everyone who isn’t prepared is going to be fucked. The end of the world as we know it, TEOTWAWKI. Shit, I better get some freeze dried food. I better get some silver and gold. I better stock up on ammo and get more guns. I better…

I was injecting myself with all this bad news like a crack addict looking for a fix.

I was fearful and angry (anger is good at times, but that is for another post) and stressed and only found the negative side of things wherever I looked. Maybe I was safer, but at what cost to my mental state?

 

 

One day it just clicked.

Was all this negativity helping me or hurting me? Even if it was all true, what could I possibly do about it? What if everything continues to muddle along? All the news was doing was making me miserable and stopping me from bettering myself. I bet it’s the same for you, too.

I have eliminated basically all news from my life and have only become better off for it.


BUT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!

By now I bet that some of you are saying that I am wrong. That the collapse is coming. That you need to know about every development in the world, so you can be prepared for it.

Ok, I understand, and I am not telling you how to live your life. But let me ask you this: Can you still prepare, but stay away from the news?

Can you still grow your heirloom seed garden? Can you still stock up on this, that, or the other without reading about how Russia is about to start WW3 or that the Shemitah is the start of the collapse?

I think you can. I think you can do it and be happier and less stressed. I think you can do it and have more time do to things you want to do.

Or maybe you aren’t like that and you say ”How am I going to know what’s going on in the world?”

I will ask in response ”Why do you NEED to know about it?” How is it going to better your life? Or is it just noise blocking you from really hearing what you need to know?

If something is truly important enough, you will find out about it – trust me.

Let everyone else get their blood boiling about something you can’t help while you are using that time to better your own situation. Instead, read great articles that make you think, or a well-written book.


WHY NEWS IS (NEARLY) ALL BAD

There is way more bad news that gets reported rather than good news. It comes down to our evolution.

In a hunter-gatherer society, bad things needed to be handled immediately to survive. If my ancient ancestor heard that a cave bear moved into the area and was running around killing people it would be the top priority to know that. It has caused us to search out negative (dangerous) things so as to be prepared.

 

Now we live in the modern world and instead of cave bears things such as layoffs or which liar is going to be placed in charge of us takes over that spot in our brains.

Since we notice or seek out the bad news we tend to get more fearful than happy from it. The fear causes stress hormones to be released.

When a town of a few thousand people read their local news it was rare that something bad happened. Compare that to a city of millions where bad things are happening all the time. Now we get it from all over the world, billions of people cause bad things to happen every second. We get to hear the worst of it reported to us 24/7.

A constant stream of stories to make you scared and angry, a constant stream of stress.

So is it any wonder so many people are walking around scared, angry and stressed – taking three types of anti-depressants, while we, collectively in the western world, arguably enjoy the easiest and most luxurious lives over all of human history?

 


 

WHAT NEWS IS

  • The news gets it wrong. In the day of 24/7 news they have to manufacture things to talk about, so they get to speculating. They don’t care about being correct, they can ‘apologize’ for the error later. Makes a person even think they purposefully put out the wrong information or don’t cover the real story. They are there to keep you watching so they can make money selling advertisements. Journalism went out the window decades ago.
  • The news makes you think everything is worse than it is. By all accounts, most countries are safer than in years past. But when anything happens anywhere it will be reported all over if it is seen to get people watching. So you end up thinking the whole world is dangerous, but it is all just an illusion. While horrible deeds are still happening, they are not happening at any greater rate than before there is only more news reporting on it. It is just distorting the perception of tragedies.
  • The news is just entertainment: It all about getting your eyes on the screen, whether that is TV news or online, heck even print. They are there to sell advertisements. It is something to keep you watching between car commercials, that’s it. They choose which stories to run only to get what they think will get the maximum amount of eyeballs to pay attention. It is their only goal.
  • Which brings me to the next point. The news picks stories that are meant to keep you scared and in fear because it will make people watch, see the first point. Have you ever heard “This thing has been linked to 50 gazillion deaths and it could be in your home right now! Tune in at 11 to find out what it is.” All this does is build up fear to create anxiety and depression.
  • What can you do about it? Tell me when the last time watching the news made a positive impact on your life? I don’t know if you can. Let me tell you what I think most people do. They get all angry about something and post it to Facebook, where they can just get more people angry about it. Do any of those people change anything about it, or does it just bring a negative into their lives?
  • Since you can’t do anything about it, the news is a waste of time. Think of all the time you could be doing positive things in your life. You could write more steemit posts. You could do more things with your friends or family. You could learn new and useful things. All much better options than having crap shoved in your face.

 

TRY IT OUT

 

Stop reading or watching the news for a month. The world will not end.

Do things that make you happy instead. Do things that make you a better person. Learn things. Do things that help others.

I’ve eliminated nearly all of it and am so much better for it. If something that actually matters to me, I will be told soon enough. You can’t go to work or talk for any length of time with someone else before something from the news pops into the conversation.

So stop worrying about it. You will come out better on the other side. You will find that you don’t miss it one bit.

When you fill your mind with depressing things, is it any surprise that depressing things will fill your mind?


This post was originally featured on my steemit blog. 

 


(Image credits: 1 2 3 4 5 6)

15 comments

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  1. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    It’s funny because nowadays people are terrified, but in reality our crime rates are at all-time lows. I’ve also limited my news intake. It’s extremely stressful and it doesn’t really affect me anyway. I prefer to get my news from sources like C-SPAN (boring, I know) that are chock-full of actual facts instead of fearmongering. Fear is a very powerful emotion that people can use to their advantage.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…How planned leftovers save you time and moneyMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Yeah, mostly because when anything bad happens it becomes national or world news instead of just a local issue! Fear keeps those eyeballs watching/reading, which means money. Money is what it all boils down to.

      Some news does seep into my life, mostly through my VERY limited time on facebook and such. I really find that I miss none of it, and anyone that I have convinced reports a similar feeling.

  2. Tony

    Hey MrDD, I think this is one of the best articles I’ve read in a while. It’s a very mature and pragmatic perspective on what truly brings you closer to happiness or fear mongering and irritation over things that are largely out of your control.

    I was having a similar conversation with someone about just tuning out and turning off Facebook after election time. It begins to have a cumulative effect that’s just not positive for your actual life. I think you knocked this one out of the park. Very well articulated and to the point. My hat is off to you.
    Tony recently posted…Cars, machines, maintenance, and the very real and costly repercussions of being a Machinery Maintenance Denier.My Profile

    1. MrDD

      Thank you, this is the kindest comment I have ever received.

      Social media, in general, seems to be a time sinkhole, I have severely limited my time on it per day. 5-10 minutes max.

  3. DivHut

    Well said. As long term dividend growth investors we always talk about tuning out the noise and just staying the course which is sometimes harder than it seems. I always say that negative headlines are a constant, especially in the financial world. The markets are tanking all is bad, all is negative, it’s time to worry when in reality it’s time to look for some bargains. The economy is improving and the markets and many stocks are making all time highs, the news is still negative as people call for a correction, looming bear market, longest bull run has to end, etc. You can’t win. The best of times, the worst of times the financial headlines scream BAD. I admit I watch CNBC on occasion, elsewhere as I do not have cable, but only for the latest information and not news or anything actionable on my part. Info and entertainment. That’s all. During the market collapse of 2008/09 I followed what was going on but tuned out the noise. Took no new action on my part, just kept buying every month as I always have during market low and market highs. Thanks for sharing.
    DivHut recently posted…Recent Stock Purchase March 2017My Profile

    1. MrDD

      You said it, it is all just noise.

      Tune it out (by not giving them any of your time) and focus on improving your own situation!

  4. Mr Defined Sight

    When we were on vacation recently, I didn’t keep up with the news at all. Hardly had the tv on in the hotel room. No computer, just my phone basically to keep up with sports. I have to say it was a refreshing break from it all.
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…Back From Vacation, Back To The GrindMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Life just goes on regardless of whatever fearmongering the media wants to talk about that day.

      Try it in your normal life too and report back!

  5. David Domzalski

    After the election, my wife and I stopped watching the news for the post part. It wasn’t even intentional, we were just tired of it all. And, honestly, we haven’t missed it. We might hit up a website here or there, but I find myself clicking out after a few minutes (or even seconds). I realize that I just don’t care.

    I rather focus on my own life with my family. I rather learn things to help offer value to others through my blog.

    Forget the nonsense.

    Great post!

    1. DivHut

      Your comment reminded me of this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd3JrFXLrA0
      DivHut recently posted…Recent Stock Purchase II March 2017My Profile

    2. MrDD

      That’s just it, how many hours – then days – then weeks – and on and on does the news take up over the course of an average person’s life? It has to be a large amount. Just 15 minutes a day for 5 days a week is over two full days a year.

      So put that time to better use. Heck since the news is largely an instigator of stress, even just doing something relaxing is a better use of that time.

  6. Mustard Seed Money

    I find that whenever I go on vacation and don’t pay attention to the news that I’m much happier. I really would like to unplug more. I just need to get off the various news websites and entertain myself in different ways. Like going outside and enjoying this spring weather 😉
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Are Collectibles A Wise Investment?My Profile

    1. MrDD

      I think that would be a much greater plan than worrying about the latest thing on the news. 🙂

  7. Four Pillar Freedom

    I have recently cut the amount of news I watch on a daily basis dramatically and I’ve noticed that I feel much better and less stressed out because of it – by not constantly keeping tabs on the news I’m learning to spend my time focusing more on what I can control, which makes me happier in general.

    1. MrDD

      Ahh, do you consider yourself a stoic as well? What you describe is part of that philosophical school.

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