There are many people (myself included, sometimes) who get caught up in the news. “Did you hear what happened? No what happened?” In the age of 24-hour news networks, the way in which the news in conveyed can be very compelling. Meaning, it’s not necessarily the content that’s attracting us, but the vessel by which it is delivered. Because of this compelling nature, we can sometimes (myself included), be so compelled as to follow the news — religiously.
I have nothing against the “news” as factual messages being conveyed, but I do think that sometimes, one can take their knowing the news a little bit too seriously. What do I mean by this? Have you ever met someone who couldn’t go 2 hours without getting their update from CNN, FOX News, or MSNBC? Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with people wanting to be informed, in fact, I’d encourage it, to a point, of course. (See my post about baby chicks following a mother hen for more on that.) Staying informed can be an important way to know what’s going on in the community, the state/province, the country, and the world.
Do you ever get the sense that sometimes, these people (or you?) feel that if you don’t follow the news, something really big might happen and you’ll miss it? While that might happen, when “big” things happen, you don’t necessarily need a news outlet to tell you about it. Yes, if you were watching the news, you’d know the second it happens, but nowadays (with everyone following the news by the second), they are bound to bring it up in conversation. “Hey, did you hear about the tsunami in Japan?” “Did you hear about the earthquake in Virginia?” These types of things get talked about.
Unless it’s your job, (and maybe even if it is your job), I’d bet that you probably could use a break from the news. About a month ago, I wrote a post asking, “When was the last time you unplugged?” I wrote that post particularly for those of us that have a habit of staying very connected to our electronic devices. I’d encourage you to go back to that post and substitute electronic devices for news. The same basic message still applies. Taking a vacation from the news is sometimes just as important as taking a vacation from your electronics (and usually goes hand-in-hand).
Taking this break from the news may just clarify for you what type of news you want to be consuming. You may find that after taking a break from the news, you really don’t want to get Google! News updates for every time an article is written about Sarah Palin or every time someone mentions the US Department of Defense. You may find that you want to start reading more positive news sources like Ode. Most importantly, I hope that by taking a break from the news that you realize — it never ends. The spigot of the news is a powerful force… a never-ending source.