Why I Don’t Watch News

I know this might come as a surprise from someone who is studying journalism…

I just want to warn you; yes, I am ready for the critics which will certainly let themselves hear after reading this article (or they didn’t even get to this point and are going to criticize me without reading). Even in high school, I got the reproachful looks and words of incomprehension whenever I mentioned that I didn’t watch the news in the past few years.

One of my classmates was dealing with this fact much harder than the others. Oh, how many times I heard her lecture about how important it was to know what was happening in our world! That I lived here, too, and that not to care was selfish!

But I want to tell you now, why it’s not selfish at all.

To not watch the news was a part of my choice not to fill my life with negativity. During the first 14 years of my life, I had the opportunity to observe what watching the TV news was doing with people; in this case my mother.

Every evening at 7 o’clock, she’d lay down on our sofa and that was the birth of a hell. Not even two minutes into the session and she was swearing over everything. And my question was: is it worth it? Is it really worth getting angry? Do you want to go to sleep fed up, with shaking hands and more than one thought about how everything is fudged up? It wouldn’t be the easiest thing to fall asleep then, right? (And I am writing “fudged up” not only because I love chocolate, but because I don’t want to repeat these amazing words I learned while my mum was watching the news!)

To swear over politics, people, natural disasters, this and that, the whole world… is definitely not going to do much good for you, don’t you think?

Whenever I remember that dramatic voice, serious look, and nodding head of a news anchor, and the choice of the most dramatic words, showing how terribly serious the situation was, I have to try very hard not to laugh out loud.

Wow! So many reproachful looks are probably coming at me right now!

I agree that it’s good to know what is happening in the world.

It’s not the situations\news that is ridiculous for me. Not at all. Of course. What is ridiculous is the way they feed it to people.

And when I told my teacher who asked me if I knew what has happened yesterday that I haven’t seen the news for not less than a few years back? How dare I? It’s my civic obligation to share the sorrow with all the other people! I have to know what’s happening! I have to wail with others!

Oh, please… Give me a break…

You know what? Let’s do one tiny exercise here. (Don’t worry, I don’t want you to get out and run a mile or do twenty push-ups.)

Tonight, do not watch the news. Instead, read a nice book. Listen to your favourite music. Pet your dog. Do whatever you love. (And if you are yelling “but I love watching the news” at me right now, you have to wait until I get into that phase when I am able to explain even better, because right now I’m in the phase called “there’s no help for the one who doesn’t accept an advice”.

On the other hand, if you really just want to know what’s happening and you don’t take it personally, watch the news, go ahead. But in my opinion, in this case, the news on television is not the most relevant way how to get this information.

It’s my choice not to receive this negativity. And if you are still yelling at me that it was selfish, think about it once more when you literally throw some tragic story at me.

Please, don’t distort my words now. If my friend comes to me with some grief, of course, I try to help her/him. Of course, I will even cancel the barbecue if it was too hard for her/him. And, of course, it is sad when there’s some aeroplane crash or another disaster. But to fill yourself with grief and anger over it all and repeat how unfair it was won’t bring anyone back to life. And it’s definitely not gonna make yours better.

So next time when you are swearing about what a stupidity our politicians came up with while watching the news, think about if your bad mood does more harm to them or to you. Because they absolutely don’t care that you are cursing in front of your children and that you’re going to not be able to fall asleep until 3 am.

Instead, get that information in a neutral way to be able to make your own decisions about how you want to perceive it.

I hope you’re having a great day!

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