Why Watching the News is Bad for You


Why Watching the News is Bad for You

This morning on the way to school drop-off I instinctively turned off the radio when the news came on.  Then I immediately realised what I had done and started thinking more deeply about why watching the news is bad for you.

Well watching the news, it’s not going to kill you or anything like that but it’s certainly going to stop you from getting things done.

I should know because I was one of those people that lived for the news. And often I’d watch the early news, prime time news and then follow up with another dose of the news from a more trusted source.

And I’m sad to say, I’ll never get that time back.

You see what I didn’t realise was, the news is just a summary of stories to keep you glued to the screen so you stay around long enough to watch the advertising.

And rather than present meaningful news, it’s always the stories that make you wonder how it ends and as a consequence you’ll be right there ‘after these messages from our sponsors’.

Sadly, when someone dies and makes the news, it’s usually the sign of a slow news day, but it’s just enough to make you wonder if it could happen to you.

In reality, there are thousands of people dying of malnutrition and preventable disease every day, so how isn’t that news more important?

It is, but the news channels don’t want to depress you so much that you’ll turn over the channel.

Who’ll watch their ads then?

Instead, the news is carefully curated content that’s just merely a snapshot of what’s happening in the eyes of the Editor.

In my opinion, it’s just another reality TV drama show.

And that’s the problem.

Of course, there are people who believe news is good for you. Take this carefully curated article written for the Huffington Post, explaining how news is actually good for you.

And to save you the trouble of scrolling past the ads, to find any meaningful content, here’s the sub-headings that makes the body of the article.

1. News makes us informed citizens

2. News keeps us safe in emergencies

3. News broadens our worldview

4. News teaches critical thinking

5. News improves our writing

6. News is full of leadership lessons

7. News is a trove of career advice

8. News gives us a front-row seat to history

9. News is our collective watercooler

Of course, I can’t let that BS fly without some sort of retort.

Why Watching the News is Bad for You

News makes us informed citizens – As mentioned before the news is curated and just like Internet Search this curation is someone telling us what they want us to hear. We are not informed but rather misinformed.

News keeps us safe in emergencies – Twitter has already been proven to work quicker at spreading messages than the news, which sometimes waits until Prime Time to tell their side of the story.

News Broadens our worldview – The Internet broadens our world view and the news just reminds us there is a world out there, albeit a small one. For instance, the news very rarely reports across all 190+ countries in the world but rather the most popular ones.

News teaches critical thinking – Stories on the news are edited to invoke emotion in the viewer and being in an emotional state actually hinders your critical thinking ability. More rather you’ll tend more towards the pack mentality.

News improves our writing – Wow, this is a stretch at best, because the people that write the news normally, write for their peer groups rather that the general public who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.

News is full of leadership lessons – History is full of leadership lessons, when we’re too close to current events it’s hard to determine if we’re on the right side or the wrong side.

News is a trove of career advice – Yes, and it’s all bad advice. The Gate Keepers no longer control information and average people are becoming the stars of tomorrow, the Rat Race Rebellion has already begun.

News gives us a front-row seat to history – Yes, while you watch the news you’ll be sitting on the sidelines. When you stop watching the news you’ll find the time to actively contribute to the causes you’re so passionate about.

News is our collective water cooler – Sure, the news gives you something to talk about in those awkward water cooler moments but, try learning more about the people you work with instead. Who knows, you might actually have something else in common besides watching the news.

So rather than watch the news, spend those precious minutes in your day, learning something new or working towards a goal that will break you free from the news cycle forever.

I promise you, you’ll never miss the important stuff.

And without all the distractions of news and current affairs, you might actually find the time to make a positive impact in this world.

Very few people who make the news actually have time to watch it.

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