“72 killed in a suicide bombing in Pakistan”
“A new kind of terror”
“Two were arrested for murder”Why reading the news is bad for you
These are just 3 of the headlines I saw browsing the local news sites. These sort of headlines are the reason I stopped reading the news.Besides being time-consuming and negative news have become a way to transfer ideas and influence the masses in a certain direction.
So I stopped reading them. Yes, you heard me correct. I’m not reading any newspapers or go to any news site or consume any news media. And the more time passes, the more it pays off.
The thing is that stopping consuming news actually frees the mind to deal with much more important things at hand, and I would even dare to say that it makes the thinking sharper and clearer.
The negative angle
News media report mostly negative things. This is our current reality. We respond quickly and emotionally to negative things we encounter, and news media capitalize that for their gain.
In the past years, it even appears as though the news get more and more noisy and gory in order to attract our dwindling attention. Which means there are more pages of more bad things that happen, and if there is a gory image that goes along well with the piece, it’s not uncommon to see those as well.
Earl nightingale’s main message was “we become what we think about”. This means that what we hold in our mind constantly, and cultivate and nourish with action and positive thought, will, one day, be our reality.
With that in mind, there is no real reason to read the news. As the news are filled with negative stories and occurrences, if we saturate our mind with this sort of influence we have less time to focus on the good in life, and on our goals.
Moreover, if we are constantly exposed to negative influence, we start adopting the things we are exposed to and behave in a negative manner without even realizing it.
Good things do happen
News media has the power to make it seems as though the world is filled with bad things. Tyrants rising and falling, corruption spreading worldwide, good people become bad, people losing their loved ones, these are all things that fill the news on a daily basis.
However, the good things that happen are not brought to our attention. The people who save lives. The charities that operate worldwide. Schools which are being built, companies that harness their power for the good. These are all things that ALSO happen on a daily basis, yet I dare you to find one influential news media who has any of these on his front page so this is the first thing to see.
News now days are so biased that unless you exercise critical thinking, it’s hard to see past any of the headlines and the editor’s interest in the story. This leads to negative influence being pressed on the masses, and negativity all around.
Sorry, I don’t want to be a part of that game.
Cultivate selective ignorance.
In his book “the 4-hour work week” Tim Ferris mentions that “most information is time-consuming negative, irrelevant to your goals and outside of your influence” and I think he is spot on. In today’s age, we are continuously surrounded with information. It’s literally at the tip of our fingers. Content became “king” in the online and offline world, and we are its consumers. Like any consumer, we can either be selective at what we choose to consume or just let everything in without exercising any thought or self-control.
If the latter is correct in your case, you are pretty much a pawn in the hands of opinion makers. If we do not have in mind the interest behind each story written, and just accept the story as fact, we are more than likely to receive the wrong information and might end up adopting an opinion which is not our own, which could later turn to an act which we didn’t really intend on doing.
Try it our for a week
I invite you to not take my word for it. After all, you wouldn’t believe everything you read on some blog, would you?
Try out a media fast for a week. Don’t read any newspaper. Don’t visit any news site, and don’t consume any sort of news for one week. See how that feels.
Nothing will happen if you don’t read the news. If it’s big enough, you will hear about it from some other source. If you are looking for information, you can get it by googling it. You don’t really need the news for anything
If you could make it one week without news media, you will start feeling better. Your mind will be clearer and you will see that the loss of the news, is not that big of a deal.
So go ahead, try it, and let me know how it worked out in the comments below.