Friday, August 27, 2010

Media Diet

I've been on a media diet for a couple of weeks. (Thank you, Karen, for the inspiration.) No radio news, or newspapers, or tv news.

I've knocked back our newspaper subscription to Friday, Saturday and Sunday only and even then, I only read the weekend entertainment section and the food and travel pages. The rest goes straight into the recycle bin.

No television news except for the local weather forecast. No NPR news and that's been the hardest thing for me.

Here's the thing. I began to think that all the bad news (car accidents and shootings, war and war and war, floods and disasters, anything Sarah Palin might say) was weighing me down. That letting all those things into my brain was not good for my heart. So I stopped, cold turkey.

And you know what? The world continued to turn without my having to carry all that bad news around with me. Absolutely nothing in my life depended on my knowing about the latest armed robbery or three car pile up.

People still talk to me about the news. I have a pretty good grasp of what has been happening around here and in the world these last few weeks. Strangely enough, to have a human conversation about something, even if it is bad news, doesn't leave me with that heavy feeling or a knot in my stomach.

I may do away with the newspaper all together. I may go back to listening to All Things Considered while I'm cooking dinner. I'm not sure where I'll take it from here, but learning that I don't have to let everything in has been completely liberating.


  1. Sounds sensible -- I've been listening to/watching/reading the news way too much. It brings on a whole lotta stress.

  2. Oh honey, welcome to the world of beauty!!

    I did this about a year ago--and haven't regretted it for a moment. I finally realized that I could be well-informed, or I could be happy--guess what I chose?

    Knowing what was happening in the world left me paralyzed--I felt bad and helpless. What could I do? I can't stop people from spewing hatred. I can't make big oil companies act humanely and responsibly. I can't stop news outlets and politicians from lying. I can't feed the world. I can't stop the war. Not me personally.

    And anyway, it's so skewed--for every nasty act that takes place in the world, there are about a million beautiful acts taking place at the same time. Where's the coverage about that? Really? Where? The world is actually a kind and decent place (on a human to human level)--but you wouldn't know that by watching the news!!

    Okay, taking a breath, calming down...

    And so I donate to the causes I care about, I try to think compassionately about those with whom I disagree, and I send out as much love as I can. But I don't expose myself to the news anymore.

    I'm really happy for you, Laura--I don't normally endorse diets, but I definitely endorse this one!!

  3. Oh my gosh that was a long comment...feeling a little embarrassed now...

  4. Oh, don't be embarrassed. I am a great fan of enthusiastic comments!

  5. I did this about 6 months ago...and still going strong! Good luck and enjoy :-)