I’ve been conducting a little experiment on myself recently.
There used to be a time where I was a complete ‘news junky’. As soon as I was awake in the morning I would be at the screen scanning news channels and reading RSS Feeds. I would not only know, but I would need to know, about anything and everything that was reported that day.
Recently, that has come to an abrupt halt.
I started thinking about what I actually needed to know to get through the day and to live my life the way I wanted. When you actually take a step back from the information overload it can be quite surprising. As I write this, it is almost noon. I have had my head buried in the job search websites since I awoke and I have not had the radio on, so there could have been a huge war going on in China and I would not be aware of it. And that’s OK. It’s OK because that lack of information coming in has not affected my life in a negative way.
I do not need to know what is happening in far off places, whether it is good or bad, because it does not affect my life, either directly or indirectly.
I am not suggesting I will completely ignore the news, in fact I will probably have a quick look at a couple of news sites in a few minutes, but it is no longer a priority in my life.
I don’t get a newspaper. I don’t watch the TV because I haven’t got one. (Yeah, I’m weird like that.) Life is so much better for that.
I have not put on a tin-foil hat just yet, but I would like to ask you the question:
Is the news really news anymore? Or is it more about manipulating public opinion?
Who decides the news you see each day? If it is broadcast (radio or TV) or a paper, then an editor does. They have a small amount of air-time or column inches to fill and they make the decisions about what stories reach the public.
Most of the UK news content is controlled within London. Is London’s view of my world the same as mine? Absolutely not. What London thinks I should be interested in of no interest to me whatsoever. For example, I don’t care who can bake a cake, or who said what to whom in the jungle. Nor am I interested in the near pornographic stories relating to celebrities I’ve never heard of being caught engaging in immoral behaviour and cheating on their current partners. They claim it sells papers and adverts, I just find it dull.
So following Sherlock Holmes’ theory of only having so much room in his ‘mind palace’ I have started to significantly cut down my news intake and I feel happier already.
In fact I may even go out and have a conversation with a stranger. Shock! Horror! 🙂