Personally, I always found watching the news to be difficult. Even as a child, I was either completely bored or terrified of the world because of the bitter taste it left in my mouth. In today’s climate, watching the news is even more difficult for me. About a year ago, I was so hooked up on staying informed about what’s going on in the world that I nervously, but boldly, committed to listening to a daily news podcast before going into work. Although each podcast episode was only five minutes long, I would feel emotionally drained at the end of each segment…and my day had hardly started!
After a week of listening to this news podcast, I noticed a slight change in my morning mood. I zip lined from a peaceful, joyful young woman to an anxious soul who was angry at the patterns of the world. It was not healthy for me, and I knew I had to stop tuning in to the cold news. But I knew I could not afford to remain uninformed. Either I had to toughen up to the constant news, or I had to change my perception of it and respond in a positive, constructive way.
“I JUST CAN’T STOMACH IT!”
There are so many reasons why news-sensitive people dodge the news: sometimes being aware of what’s going on slowly eats away at one’s happiness or sense of security; some people feel it’s a constant reel of negativity; some folks are afraid of being addicted or becoming a “news junkie”; and sometimes watching the news makes individuals feel physically sick. While some people see the news as vital information, others may see it as an ever-spreading virus. But how one perceives and accepts the news is completely up to them.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF STAYING INFORMED
Although I abhor watching the news directly, I still want and need, to stay informed of the world around me. I do this by interacting with sources that are lighter in nature, but still credible:
Talk shows. Watching daily live talk shows can still provide you with adequate coverage of the latest news stories. Think of it as the Valencia filter to your average local news channels. Because talk shows tend to be more lighthearted than the neutral, straightforward news, our minds are instantly put into ease and relaxation when tuning into our favorites. This makes us more receptive to the news being shared that day. Although a negative news story may still sting, it may not sting as much as watching the traditional news.
Social media. Yes, I am that annoying millennial who gets a good chunk of the news from Twitter and Facebook! Like daytime talk shows, social media has the same effect on our minds when we see a news story posted on our feed. Mostly we log into social media in our downtime, so our minds are already in relaxation mode. Again, being in a relaxed state makes our minds more receptive to what we are being fed. But be careful – not all news stories are from credible sources. Make sure the source is credible and known for sharing authentic news stories.
Word of mouth. Old-fashioned, yes, but maybe you know a news junkie who can let you in on all the surrounding news…if you’re open to hearing it. This may be one of the best options because you can always tell your news-watching friend how you like your news delivered. It is likely they will not be as monotonous as your local news anchors but may tailor how they deliver it to your liking.
Read about it. “But wait, isn’t reading the news just as bad as watching it?” It all depends on how you like your coffee. Do you like it strong and black, or sweetened with cream and sugar? Either way, it’s still coffee although the taste is different. If you like to read in general, perhaps reading the news instead of watching it will be easier. There is no monotonous voice echoing the words, so it may not sound as harsh.
If the news angers you, that anger can be the birthplace of passion. Staying informed is the key to positive agency!