Thursday, March 19, 2015

Can watching the news actually be harmful?

I for one say that being exposed to too much bad news is not a good idea. If you think about it about 99.9% of all news is negative. All of the major news sources today report on the same old things over and over and over again. War, crime, murder, beheadings, religious disputes, natural disasters, kidnappings, it never ends and it never seems to get better.

How many times has someone said to you “Did you hear about the little girl that is missing?” or “Did you see how many people were killed by the earthquake in (some foreign country)?” What is so sensational about all of this tragedy and how does being aware of it help me or any of the poor victims?

The problem with the news is that all of it is completely unbalanced. You hear about the missing woman that has been found dead somewhere but what about countless missing persons that are found every day in perfect health, often “missing” due to their own actions? What about the 10 car accident on some major highway? You never hear a word about the thousands of accidents that are avoided every day when no one gets hurt.

News is depressing and focuses only on the negative and most unlikely of scenarios. There is nothing enlightening, educational, beneficial, or advantageous to the vast majority of news stories that we are bombarded with on any given day. Elderly people are afraid to go out alone because they might be mugged, or worse. Parents are afraid to let their children go anywhere unattended because surely some “maniac” is just sitting in his van waiting to snatch them up. People no longer sit outside and talk to each other at night because it’s just not safe anymore. When does it end?

You can’t change a thing. Did you ever stop to think that no matter what happens anywhere in the world you can’t do anything about it? You are not the president, you don’t manage a global relief agency of any kind and you are not a multi billionaire. What’s the point of dwelling on all of the negativity if you can’t do anything to make it better? Take the time to help the hungry in your community, form a watch group to make your neighborhood safer, get involved locally where you can make a difference.

You want to stay informed about what’s going on. I hear that a lot but it takes me back to the fact that you can’t do anything about it. If you really want to stay abreast of current events limit your “exposure” time. Yes, as responsible adults we want to know what’s happening in the world but don’t be a bad news addict. Pay attention only to those things that affect you directly and that you may be able to change if need be. Leave the rest where it belongs, to the people that it affects. Being informed changes nothing unless you are able to participate in some way.

Information overload is a real occurrence and too much bad news is simply unhealthy for your mind, body and spirit. Use your spare time wisely and relax. Enjoy yourself and find pleasure in helping others instead of talking about those poor persons in the news that are now beyond anyone’s help.

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