𝑺𝒐, 𝑰’𝒗𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒂 𝒒𝒖𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖....
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Out of the 10,000 news stories you read in the last 12 months, did even one of them allow you to make a decision that betters your life?
News is for your mind what sugar is for your body.
It’s super easy to digest and doesn’t require thinking. And actually it doesn’t saturate us at all which is why it feels so different to reading a book for instance. Instead news flashes are like fireworks for the mind.
How many of these news articles did you actually need to know to live the life you want? I remember reading an article once about some women who thought she had blue kitchen cupboards – turns out she hadn’t taken the protective wrapping off and she actually had beige ones – now really did I need to know that some tiny little thing had happened in a life of a person I’m probably never going to meet?
I remember thinking – 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘬?!
So why would you fill up precious hours of your day, your life reading totally irrelevant things? I mean I still fed up enough that I was made to learn trig in school!
The media totally have us fooled, they want us to believe that we have some sort of competitive advantage if we read it. And we start to get anxious if we are cut off from the flow of it.
Many of us sadly fall for that, yet in reality news consumption is a disadvantage. The less news you consume the better your life will be.
It can also be super misleading – for instance, you read a story about a car that drives over a bridge and the bridge collapses. What does the news focus on?
The car, the person in the car, where they came from, where they planned to go, what they had to say about the experience, if they survived. But all of this is irrelevant – what is relevant is what was wrong with the bridge and how other bridges might need looking at.
It’s also really really toxic to your body. Fear inducing stories put your body into a constant state of stress – there’s a whole load of science around this, around your limbic system, cortisol levels and how it affects your immune system and growth hormones.
As well as the obvious symptoms such as fear – causing panic buying, aggression – leading to protests and petition requests on subjects we barely know anything about and of course desensitization – which basically means you are no longer sensitive to certain subjects.
Take boat loads of immigrants or stabbings – once you’ve seen it a few dozen times, the tendency is to say – oh there’s another one and move on to something else.
It also affects your thinking capacity, shortens your attention span with quick extracts and a million and one links you have to make a decision whether you want to click on them or not and acts like a drug, ever noticed how you just want more and more and more?
And how quickly the hours fly by while you are consuming it?
Yet that just isn’t the same when you pick up a book.
In fact the more news you consume the harder you are going to find it to enjoy reading a book as your brain will have changed the way it wants to consume information.
And yet we spend hours of our days, weeks, months and lives consuming this stuff. Which really doesn’t make sense when you look at your life like the battery on your phone – it only has so long, so we should make every moment count!
Are you likely to lie on your deathbed and think….I really wish I’d consumed more news? Read more news articles?
And if that isn’t enough consider this – news stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. Unless it was something you wanted to dedicate your life passion to.
And that being the case it often makes us pessimistic and resigned.
In fact depression was one of my key factors in giving up the news completely.
And lastly, it KILLS creativity. In order to be more creative and bring more vibrancy into our lives we need to turn to reading material that inspires us and challenges our thinking.
And most of all tells us things we really don’t know.
New idea’s. The most brilliant minds out there do not consume news.
After seeing my father pour over the newspaper for hours every day I committed to be news free 5 years ago and since then I’ve removed all apps from my phone, have never bought a paper, and don’t watch it on TV either.
So I can see, feel and report the effects of this freedom first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, more insights. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Well worth it!
So here’s your assignment.
Yep, you know what’s coming! Go remove all those news apps from your phone and other devices, turn your notifications off on social media to limit your distractions, find alternative channels to watch on TV rather than the news and get yourself a really good playlist to take the place of your radio intake.
If you need another nudge to get you into action – start by recording just how much of your day is given up to consuming this utter ridiculous nonsense – (come on you know it is!), times that by 7 and then by 52 and see just how many hours you are wasting each year.
Want to really scare yourself? Take that figure and times it by 80 – at a rough guess mine came out at 52,240 hours in my life! That’s about a ¼ of your life!
If you don’t feel you can go cold turkey completely, look for big picture sources – like current affairs or in depth long form journalism on topics that interest you.
And ask yourself, where’s the best source of information on what I absolutely need to know?
Such as the World Health Organisation or government websites.