Unrelated to research I suppose, but this was on my mind this evening!
I don't subscribe to any newspaper. I try to avoid watching the news on TV at all cost.
You're probably thinking, "Geez, she's so disconnected from what's going on in the world. How could you possibly expect to keep up with everything that's happening? What's wrong with watching the news? It's important to know what is happening around you."
Why is it important to know about everyone else's problems? Why is it crucial for you to know about the latest police shooting downtown, or the tree that got struck by lightning on the other side of town, or the latest illness that appears to be making its way through a major US city that you need to vaccinate yourself against?
Go ahead and judge this if you want. I personally don't need to know about everyone else's issues. Here are my reasons for staying away from news:
- DRAMA!!! Newspapers and TV news always blow things out of proportion. "Thousands of people" usually translates to about ten; "widespread" usually means one or two houses on the block. You can probably believe about 25% of what's 'reported'.
- It's all NEGATIVE! A few years ago, a television company out west decided to try out a news program that reported nothing but good news. Quickly it was shut down because people are so programmed to watch all the crap that goes on in the world that no one watched the program. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing about all the garbage that goes on in society. What about the GOOD things that people do for each other?
- BIASED!!! Regardless of what they say, newsapers and TV news programs always have a hidden agenda. Why do we rarely hear about the good things that are being done in the Middle East? Because the news media wants you to believe that it's all evil. I have a friend who spent two tours of duty in Iraq. He kept a blog about what his unit did because he knew the news would not cover the positive things they were doing. He wrote one day about a water tower that was erected and brought clean drinking water to 10,000 Iraqis. Did any news crew cover this? Of course not! They were down the road checking out the latest car bombing.
- If it's bad enough, someone will tell me about it.
- I have enough issues in my own life to deal with to be worrying about the issues of everyone else. - side note here: I am not a cold and calloused person; I hurt for those who are hurting, and I feel empathy for them. But if I thought about all the bad going on around me all the time, those thoughts would consume me and I would never have any peace. Think about that if you are a chronic worrier....how much of your burden is due to the plight of other people, particularly people whom you do not know.
- When do most people watch the news? First thing in the morning while they get ready for work (what a great positive way to start the day!) or last thing at night before they go to bed (that'll certainly help you get a restful night's sleep).
- Worry and stress deteriorates your health! I try to live a healthy life. If I watched the news or read the newspaper and constantly took in all the garbage, it would cause a lot of stress and cost me healthwise. I learn what I need to know about what's happening around me and don't worry about the small stuff.
It is said that about 95% of the things that we worry about are out of our control or WILL NEVER EVEN HAPPEN. So why worry about them if we can do nothing about it, or those things will never occur? Instead of living in fear, worry, and doubt by watching all the junk that's happening to people around me, I choose to keep my mind positive and focused on what I'm doing.
Think about the things that your eyes and ears take in. Your brain is like a computer; the sensations you take in around you are like little software programs that are permanently loaded into your brain. Your brain then operates like a little animal. Whatever you feed the most will grow. If you feed the negative/worry/doubt/fear, guess what thoughts will consume you. If you feed the positive/happy/peaceful, you will be more calm and happy in your daily life.
Don't get me wrong; I do not completely shut myself off from the rest of the world. I learn about what I need to know about and what is pertinent to what I want to accomplish with my life. I have newsfeeds that are specifically aimed at my work, and work only. I simply choose not to clutter that all up with all the other mess.
Please feel free to disagree with me if you would like! I welcome any and all criticism or affirmation to my choice!