Almost eight years ago whilst working in an office which had Sky News rolling 24/7 on large TV screens I came to a simple yet important realisation:
- The vast majority of news coverage is negative
- I rarely have any influence over the news events unfolding
- Being aware of current affairs is rarely beneficial
Since those realisations, I stopped watching and listening to the news and I don’t read any newspapers (with the exception of the very odd Sunday paper!). I now focus on what I hope will be lasting knowledge from books and podcasts rather than ephemeral information from TV bulletins, newspapers and news websites which has no bearing on my life.
You wouldn't read a two week old newspaper, but great books can be read decades and centuries later!
The media’s focus on negative messages gives us a very distorted view of the world and one that our minds start believing. Media outlets are more in the business of competing for your attention than giving you a balanced picture of the world. They fundamentally care about page views and advertising money. As a result, you likely perceive murder rates, terrorist attacks, and other negative events to occur far more frequently than they actually do!
Do I worry that I’ll miss important information? No. I’ve found that anything truly significant; weather warnings, referendums, and elections etc. are discussed so incessantly that they will cross my radar. Do I feel out of the loop and uninformed? Again the answer is no. It’s actually quite refreshing to ask informed friends to give me a 60 second summary of any notable trending topics.
I highly recommend trying the information light diet for a week and observe the delights of a world free of negative headlines!
This content is an extract from my newsletter: 'How Curious' #5 on April 1st 2018
#5 How Curious! Brain training, conspiracies and news avoidance
Happy April and welcome to the 5th issue of 'How Curious!' 🍫🐰This edition contains my top recommendations from the past two weeks along with a bite-sized explanation of an unconventional approach to reduce my exposure to the negative media which pervades our lives. ✌️
Books I recommend on this topic
- Trust Me I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
- Conspiracy: A True Story of Power, Sex, and a Billionaire's Secret Plot to Destroy a Media Empire
- You Are What You Read: Why changing your media diet can change the world
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Collection of my favourite #news & #media quotes
I love learning, and for years have documented my weekly learnings and cool discoveries I encounter. I share the highlights to subscribers of my monthly newsletter 'How Curious!'.