Breaking News: How to Hit the Eject Button on Your News Habit

For many people it’s part of starting the day and finishing it…watching the news. But in the Information Age, does it really serve you? Much of what networks refer to as “news” these days is not in fact honest or true news. It’s politically slanted commentary, sensationalized garbage, violence and turmoil. When there’s nothing sensational at the local level, then you’re fed a healthy diet of national and global chaos, politics and turmoil. It’s dysfunctional, dishonest, codependent and toxic waste from dysfunctional people and networks in ratings wars with each other. Informing the public with important objective reporting is rare and a low priority for them. On the lighter side, it’s video clips and stories you’ve probably already seen on the Internet repurposed for television. Either way it’s mostly crap.

So, ask yourself, is it serving you? What excuses and rationalizations are you making?

Do you believe the studios, reporters, and talking heads have a sincere concern or regard for your well being and being genuinely informed? Or are they more concerned with other things?

Why are you watching it? The weather report? There’s an app for that. There’s even a weather channel!

Do you walk away from the news program “informed” or angry? Are you angry from the objective story that was reported or mostly the tone and style in which it was delivered? Are you inviting more negativity and anger than news into your life? Does anger help you in your day to day performance? Does it make you a more conscientious citizen, driver, neighbor, husband, wife, father, mother, daughter or son?

  • Many of the people behind the programming do not consider your well being or being objectively informed a priority
  • Compromising your well being for circumstances, events, things and people that don’t really affect or relate to you in the meaningful moment, is likely wasteful, needlessly taxing your  system with stress and anxiety
  • The relevant information pertinent to your life (traffic, weather, stocks, etc.) can be obtained faster at no cost to your emotional well being

Quick Fixes:

1) Power – Turn it off altogether – Is the news relevant to your business or day to day activity? I doubt it. And the parts that are relevant (stock prices, weather, traffic) you could easily minimize by grabbing an app on your phone, or quickly viewing on the web.

2) Unsubscribe & Switch – to the highlight reel – This means spending a smaller amount of time quickly scanning the headlines on the web or in the local newspaper and quickly assessing personal relevance. And it means less time getting caught up in the toxic behavior and tone of the program.

A Few More Options:

  • Check out Podcasts of news programs like BBC World News or the few, remaining reputable organizations that still have their dignity. Podcasts at least give you a fast forward button. Skip the stuff that doesn’t serve you.
  • Aggregate news apps like Flipboard, News 360, also make it easy to quickly skim headlines in your interest areas and move on to other things.
  • Crowdsource the news consumption to your friends. If it’s important, it will persist, and they’ll tell you about it. Most stories barely last a week, and have little effect on your life. The ones that do often repeat.

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