Wednesday, 25 April 2012

News Addiction

I found this on

1.News is predominantly negative. Which headline gets your attention: “Another blissful day” or “Murderous rampage on the subway”? In order to keep you plugged in, news has to shock you out of your complacency. In practice that means it usually has to scare or worry you. News’ primary marketing method is fear.

2.News is addictive. If you’re a daily news junkie, try giving it up for 30 days, and you’ll see what I mean. Even when I just planned to quickly scan the headlines, I’d often get sucked into reading sensationalized articles that provided no real value.

3.News is myopic. News provides the illusion of completeness, but in truth its coverage is ridiculously narrow. There are many fascinating happenings in the world that never make the news. After getting your daily update on current events, you think you know what’s going on in the world. But with billions of people on this planet, you’re sorely mistaken. You don’t have a clue.

4.News is marketing. Think this; don’t think that. Fear this; worry about that. Yes, yes, we’re all gonna die. Make me feel afraid, so then I’ll buy the sponsors’ products to feel better. Global warming won’t seem so bad when I’m driving my new car and popping my anti-depressants. Pump me full of fear; then sell me the cure.

5.News is shallow. Complex topics are reduced to sound bites and simplistic platitudes. Even the “in-depth” stories are unbelievably shallow. Skip the news and read books instead.

6.News is untrustworthy. Start looking for the political and corporate agendas behind the stories, and you’ll see them oozing out of every nook and cranny.

7.News is thought conditioning. Here’s how to think, so you’ll fit in like a good little human.

8.News is trivia. What passes for important is actually far from it. How much of today’s news will you remember next year? Can you even remember last month’s news? Your brain discards the news because it’s trivial; what you internalize is the fear-based conditioning.

9.News is redundant. Most news stories are repetitive, redundant, and say the same things twice. Very few stories are actually fresh and new. News should really be called “olds.”

10.News is irrelevant. How many news stories are relevant to you personally? Virtually none.

11.News isn’t actionable. How many news stories are actionable for you right now? Less than none.

12.News is problem-obsessed. The news loves to report problems. It will tell you all the things that are wrong in gory detail. How many of those problems have you actually solved? Which ones are you hard at work solving right now? The news conditions you to worry about problems but not to actually solve them. That’s because you’re encouraged to worry about unsolvable problems and then buy the sponsors’ products to assuage your fears. Drop the news for a while, and you’ll find you naturally spend more time solving problems than worrying about them.

13.News is a waste of time. Try to quantify your real gain from news consumption compared to other activities, and you’ll see just how worthless it really is. 10 minutes of news checking per day = 61 hours per year. Over a 50-year period, that’s huge. If you consume 30 minutes of daily news, it’s 183 hours per year – about 23 eight-hour days. That’s a full working month out of every year. Yikes! Was your last year of news consumption worth that much to you? How about a month long vacation instead?


  1. This is so true. I developed a real problem during the economic crash and ended up spending a lot of time watching news channels and taking part in political discussion forums online, often staying up all night to do so. All I got from this was anxiety and misery so I decided to go cold turkey on it about a year ago and I've never looked back since. It's done wonders for my mental well-being. I used to be "plugged in" 24/7, constantly feeling I was missing out on something important, but in hindsight it was crazy and useless. I no longer watch television at all or read the news online except to scan the headlines for 5 minutes max each morning.

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  3. Yeh I know what you mean about feeling like you need to be "plugged" in 24/7. I have a nasty habit of refreshing all the time at the moment, still ive made a pledge that it will be the only news site I read from now on. 0.-

    *had to repost for noobish spelling mistakes*

  4. i couldn't agree more! (loved #9 particularly....) i, too, am a headline-reader, so i'm not entirely CLUELESS.