Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why I No Longer Watch the News

    When I started this blog just a few weeks ago I made the commitment to write only about topics that were somehow related to literature and writing. It's only a few weeks in and I find myself breaking that commitment. But I'm only doing so because the topic has changed my life so much that I find it worth sharing. About a month ago I stumbled across the following article and it changed my life.
    I would consider myself a news junkie and spent about five hours a day consuming some sort of news media. So when I read this article it definitely spoke to me. I thought that the majority of the points it made were interesting and I vowed to give up watching the news for a month. So now, approximately a month later, I am here to give my testimony.

Time 

    I've found that I have a lot more time in my day to accomplish the things that are important to me (my writing). This really goes without saying but until I read this article I wasn't really aware of how much time I spent watching the news.

Attitude 

   I am much more happy and motivated to write now than I was last month. The majority of what we see on the news is negative and makes us want to scream and yell and then sometimes just give up all together. Normally when I'm watching a news program I find myself cursing at a science hating Republican or yelling at a hypocritical Democrat and my blood pressure goes through the roof. Now I find myself to be much more calm and less obsessed with politics than I previously was.

Knowledge 


   I actually feel better informed than I did a month ago and I will explain why. I don't think that we really think about how much useless information we ingest when watching a news broadcast. We are subjected to poorly worded diatribes and interviews with morons. In an hour long news program we only get a few short minutes of hard-hitting honest journalism. Instead it's watered-down garbage. Now I might not be as up to date on the latest filibuster but I know a lot more about the political landscape than I did before.
   Now that I'm no longer consuming watered-down cable news I have more time to consume some of the real journalism that is out there. I read more primary sources and trusted news magazines. I look at investigative journalism stories and read a few online sources. I find that I understand, and am in tune with, deeper and more important topics than I was when watching the news.

Current Events 

   This is the one area of my life where I feel like I have lost knowledge. But I consider that a good thing and this just adds to my list of why you shouldn't watch the news. Sure I know less about what celebrity punched what paparazzo and what senator slept with which intern. But that just removes some of the clutter of my life and allows me to appreciate the more important things. Before I started doing this I didn't really realize how much of a news broadcast was taken up with current events story's.

The Verdict 

   I would recommend everyone to try this. It's been one month since I have watched a second of the news and I don't plan on ever going back. Sure I'll watch Presidential Debates and Election coverage but that doesn't mean I will stay on to watch all of the spinning and distorting. I feel that I have more time, am more informed, and have a better attitude than when I was watching the news. I'd encourage everyone to give this a try.

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