How do you feel after you watch the news? Do you feel empowered? Are you excited and enthusiastic about the world you live in? Or are you discouraged, concerned, and worried about the future?
Today’s news has a singular purpose and it is not to educate you. They want you hooked. They want you on the edge of your chair, awaiting the next tragedy so they can lure you into their advertising lair. They offer opinions 24/7 with limited unbiased news reporting in between. Each channel seems to focus on its political agenda. They pander to their demos to keep them coming back for more. Many years ago, political campaign managers learned that negativity wins far more elections. It didn’t take long for the news services to realize that negativity attracts viewers. Sensationalize everything! Seriously, you hear “breaking news” five hundred times in 24 hours on every station, but the news is always the same. Drama sells.
People use the news as an excuse to not take action in their own lives. They seem to let it paralyze them like a deer in the headlights. This was not their intent, but an unfortunate side effect of depressing, horribly biased, anger-driven media. Humans fall prey to negativity. Studies have proven this time and again. Advertisers, politicians, and the news media exploit it. The sky is falling. It has never been so bad. Corruption is rampant and everyone is killing everyone. Truth be told, our world has never been so stable. Unemployment around the world is down with few exceptions. The quality of life around the world has continued to rise, but you only hear the bad stuff. Bad stuff sells and good stuff does not. We would all likely agree that the current lack of tolerance in our society is definitely concerning. The media is a conduit for delivering the message of intolerance over and over again. The opinions fly from so-called experts who argue the view that supports the media outlet they work for or are representing.
My plea to you is to eliminate the news from your day. Replace it with some inspiring or educational podcast, or check in with your family and friends. If you feel you must stay connected with the news, choose an outlet that will deliver news and not opinions. The only suggestion I might offer is NPR although there are certainly those that feel it has lean to it as well. Two years ago in September I cut the news out completely. For me, it has been a wonderful relief. It has really only impacted me on two occasions. The first was a visit to Baltimore. I was planning to travel to a customer and was unaware that there were riots. I still have a clue what is going on but am not stressed about things that I have no control over.
Change your focus to the news of your friends and loved ones. Here, you can make a difference. Ask them what is going on and how you can help. A word of caution here: I also see too many wear the burdens of others as if they own them. You are there for support, guidance, and feedback, not to bear their cross. Suffering for others has no honor. It is most often used as a diversion from our own real-life issues.
Don’t use the news as an excuse. Don’t use the news as a diversion from your own reality. Sure, the tragedies in other lands are to be mourned, but the reality of life is that there is nothing you can do from your couch except send money or blog about it. If you do, awesome. This tends to be the exception and not the rule.
Stop watching or listening to the news. It is filled with other people’s agenda meant to suck you in, suck you dry, and leave you with nothing to show for your time.
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