I posted a month ago that I was beginning a 60 day news fast. I’ve kept that up for this month and will continue. There are a few things I’ve noticed and learned from this experiment. I’ll quickly list them here and expound further down.
A few things I’ve learned since beginning my news fast:
- It’s really hard to avoid the news
- If anything big happens, I’ll find out
- I’m more sensitive to ALL “bad news” now – including gossip
- It’s so easy to get sucked back in – news really is an addiction!
- I truly am happier without news, I like and feel better about other people now
#1 – It’s really hard to avoid the news. News pops up everywhere. It’s in my social media news feeds. It’s on the radio (a few times, I accidentally hit the pre-programmed button on the car stereo and it went to a talk radio station before I caught myself and changed the channel). News blares from TVs when you wait in doctor’s offices (and hospitals – did I mention here that my 4 year old was bitten by a snake two weeks ago and spent 3 days in the hospital? Yeah, I’m really behind on my blogging!).
Update: Miss thang is walking!!! And she did get her strawberries and cream thanks to a very sweet gal in the cafeteria. Next step: reduced swelling and another dose of antibiotics and we’re outta here. Maybe tomorrow morning. Look at her waving to the commoners. #snakebite2017 #comebackgirl #takethat #whydidnoahbringthemontheark
During and after this little excitement, a news report about the increase in snake bites in Georgia popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed reader (see? news – impossible to avoid).
Now, if I had seen this article BEFORE my daughter got bit, I probably would have been worried about it. Would I have taken ANY precautions? Would I have forbidden her to play outside? (She was bitten in her grandma’s front yard – they live just a stone’s throw from the airport in metro Atlanta.) Would I have made her wear tall boots and long pants?
Not a chance. And there’s a great lesson. News doesn’t actually make us change our behavior 98% of the time, it just increases our anxiety. And the actual experience of the snake bite ended up being far less horrible than I would have imagined before actually experiencing it.
#2 – If anything big happens, I’ll find out
The only news I know of in the last month is that yet another terror attack happened in Europe – this time, England. Google thought it was so important, they put it on the home screen of my phone without my even asking. What can I do for those people? Not a darn thing except pray.
Also, my husband couldn’t help himself and had to share this funny story. “Honey, I know you’re doing a news fast but I have to tell you this. Apparently this guy (who was a pimp) knocked out a priest during Mass because the priest didn’t pay for the services rendered to him.”
We may have a strange sense of humor in this house.
3 – I’m more sensitive to ALL “bad news” now – including gossip
’tis true. When I hear someone gossiping around me, I feel even more uncomfortable then I used to before beginning my news fast. And I’m a hypocrite because I also sometimes engage in this unattractive activity. Awareness is half the battle, right?
4 – It’s so easy to get sucked back in – news really is an addiction!
I haven’t succumbed, but it’s so easy to. All it takes is for one person to post something to their Facebook feed (I quit using Facebook 9 years ago, shortly after I met my husband there – true story – but have recently begun using it again for work.) and I’m tempted to do all the searches and run down the rabbit holes trying to figure things out.
It’s the maven in me. I love research and I love to understand things. But it’s a fool’s errand.
#5 – I truly am happier without news and I like and feel better about other people now
The biggest, most important reason I won’t go back to reading news is because I’m happier without it. And that’s reason enough. Hearing news makes me feel distrust and dislike of my fellowman. That’s no good.
What started as a 60 day experiment (I’m one month in) may turn into a forever thing.