Thursday, June 4, 2015
No News is Good News
I used to read the news every day. I had a link on my browser to take me directly to the BBC news site so I could read the headlines. I'd spend about 30-40 minutes a day reading news articles. It made me feel well informed and like I knew what was going on in the world.
About 6 months ago I decided to stop reading the news and removed the link. The news is almost always bad news. Looking back it never occurred to me at the time that everything I read was something negative about the world. Something violent. Something hateful. Something that induces fear in people.
Newspapers are the worst offenders. The news they report is sensationalist or shocking because they're in the business of selling newspapers. The newspapers want us to feel scared because of violent crimes. They want us to feel angry because of injustices. They want us to feel the world is a bad place. Make sure you keep your eye on the news so you know if something terrible is happening near you. Newspapers/news give us a skewed version of the world we live in making it seem like a dangerous place to be.
The thing is that these news stories are only news because they're the minority of shocking incidents. Newspapers don't report on the billions of times people leave their houses and don't get murdered or raped or attacked. So we feel that due to the frequency of these news stories that these incidents are common.
I read this article a while ago that shows how many things in the world are much better than they ever have been before: http://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7272929/charts-thankful
One of the things that prompted me to stop reading the news is the details we seem to get in news stories now. A recent story about a girl being found dead made me feel so sad for her family knowing that everyone knows every detail of what happened to her and how her body was found. No one needs to know such details. I certainly don't want to know. Also the French plane crash recently had audio and video footage along with the usual details of how everyone had suffered in their last moments.
News is hard to avoid. It's everywhere. Social media gives me news stories, the radio gives me news stories and the people I talk to daily give me news stories. Even not reading the news I still get to hear what's going on but only small snippets as I don't read articles about the news now. Instead I choose to seek out news/articles that make me feel good about the world.
I've started reading articles on this site: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/news/earth/ and seeking out articles to read that reinforce positive changes I want to see in the world. Such as green issues, body positivity and people coming together to help others.
You might think doing this is like living under a rock. Maybe it is but I'm happier under here. I read news that makes me feel good instead of bad. News moves on so quickly that once you've read about one violent crime or shocking incident then another horrible thing is already being reported on. Not one news article I've read has benefited me or helped me make a good decision in my life. I feel I don't get anything from reading the news other than someone else's opinion on the state of the world. The news should be more factual instead of sensationalist and biased.
The news is written by rich people trying to shove their political views down your throat. Trying to make you feel scared that you'll be evicted so some benefit-crazed immigrants will move into your house. What we should all be thinking about is why bankers aren't prosecuted for the fraud they commit every year and why huge companies evade paying taxes using loopholes. Have you ever noticed how the news blames poor people for everything that is wrong in the UK instead of the rich? (But that's a whole other blog post :D).
I don't read the (bad) news and it's made me feel better about the world I live in.
What do you think about the news we hear about daily?