News and media is widely accessible these days thanks to modern technology; we can keep up to date at home or on the go, and at any time of the day or night.
It used to be the case that in order to become informed of the current events of the world, we would have to tune in to the TV or radio at certain times throughout the day.
When I was younger, my parents would sit down to watch the main evening news at 6pm everyday- and sometimes again at 9pm. This was extremely upsetting for me and my brothers- as our cartoons were put on hold in favor of current affairs and politics, and other such material that we found uninteresting.
What struck me at the time was how- more often than not- the mood in the room would become slightly tetchy after watching the news. It would usually leave my parents feeling upset, and frustrated.
Similarly, if there were a group of adults watching the news together- for example if we had visitors over- a big discussion would always ensue where everyone would complain about the current state of affairs; a cluster of pessimism.
I always showed my age at the time by thinking- perhaps a little selfishly-
“We’re missing ‘The Simpsons’ for this?!”
As I got older and began to tune in myself- I found that there rarely seemed to be happy or uplifting stories being broadcast, and I can’t recall ever coming away feeling revitalized or enlightened as a result.
So, I made the conscious decision a long time ago to not tune in to the news- of any kind.
Now and again I will have a look at the sports pages- as I am a sports fan- or the gossip column just to keep an eye on what Kourtney, Kim and Khloé are getting up to- but that goes without saying.
I know some will say that it is irresponsible- that we should keep informed with current affairs and what is going on in the world around us- and maybe they are right.
For me though, I like to think that there is much to be gained by taking control of the information we consume.
Stay with me here.
Yes, every nugget of information we absorb on a daily basis is affecting our health- and that includes the type of news we decide to engage with.
In gaining complete control of the material we expose ourselves to- we are taking steps towards improving our health and happiness. I understand that this isn’t always possible to control- but it’s something we can try to keep in mind.
It doesn’t make any sense to me- to invest our time in something that is perhaps going to have a negative impact on our well-being.
I’m not sure of the exact figures, but I would guess that we spend a pretty substantial chunk of our week tuned in to news and media.
Why not free up some of that time spent listening to those irritating politicians go around in circles- and dedicate it towards some of the things which we had been putting off.
Maybe it’s the novel we had always dreamed of writing, or the business idea that has been simmering now for some time, or perhaps there is something we simply want to tick off our bucket list- whatever the case- let’s go and get after it.
When we begin to limit our exposure to news and media, we allow ourselves to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings.
In doing so, we are afforded with the opportunity to listen to our inner voice, and to carry on passionately along the path that was set out for us.
Purpose and Meaning
In the act of looking inward- rather than allowing outside influences dictate our thoughts and actions- we begin to realize what it is that we really want to achieve in life.
We have an opportunity to create our own news- to impact the world and the lives of those around us in a positive way- with desire and fortitude.
The world will continue to turn- whether we decide to tune in or not- but the important thing is that we feel in control of our own destiny.
Like I said, I don’t feel like we are missing out on anything by deciding not to follow the news- quite the opposite actually. I feel like we can be better for it, and have much more to gain by deciding to take control of the information we consume.
If there is something of great importance- or is of relevance to our current situations- I figure we will find out sooner or later.
Who knows, perhaps the day will come when I will feel the need to start following the news- when I have transformed into one of those disagreeable old hecklers from ‘The Muppets’ and have become cynical and battle-hardened from the experiences of life- but I sincerely hope not.
Or better still, maybe by then the news will be filled with positive, inspirational, feel-good content that will leave us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, excited to go and make the most of the day ahead; to live our lives to the fullest.
Now that is something I would tune in to.
We can live and hope- but until then- I’ll stick to my cartoons.
You can check out Patrick’s self-development website The Irish Introvert, and you can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.
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