Wednesday, December 14, 2016

No News is Good News

I quit reading the news. I always disparaged those who did as I am doing, but I did it to be happier and I know there are those who feel about me as I did about ostriches once. I am super happy I quit long before Mr. Trump came along.
Someone named David Cain quit following the news several years ago. His comments are posted on raptitude.com. Here is a quote:
A common symptom of quitting the news is an improvement in mood. News junkies will say it’s because you’ve stuck your head in the sand.
But that assumes the news is the equivalent of having your head out in the fresh, clear air. They don’t realize that what you can glean about the world from the news isn’t even close to a representative sample of what is happening in the world.
The news isn’t interested in creating an accurate sample. They select for what’s 1) unusual, 2) awful, and 3) probably going to be popular. So the idea that you can get a meaningful sense of the “state of the world” by watching the news is absurd.
Their selections exploit our negativity bias. We’ve evolved to pay more attention to what’s scary and infuriating, but that doesn’t mean every instance of fear or anger is useful. Once you’ve quit watching, it becomes obvious that it is a primary aim of news reports-not an incidental side-effect-to agitate and dismay the viewer.
What appears on the news is not “The conscientious person’s portfolio of concerns”. What appears is whatever sells, and what sells is fear, and contempt for other groups of people.
Curate your own portfolio. You can get better information about the world from deeper sources, who took more than a half-day to put it together.
I do not have Seasonal Affected Disorder but I am uplifted by sunshine as is, I am sure, everyone. I feel so much more energy and enthusiasm on a sunny day — and this whole week has been nothing but sunny weather. Perhaps it is due to the rarity of a day like today that it impresses so. It has an effect on me not dissimilar to the little blue pills I take on difficult days.
And … Snow is predicted for the weekend. This has been the best Autumn for snow in years. Like extended winter sunshine, snow is rare.
Sometime in elementary school my first crush was Mike Porter. He was tall, dark and handsome and he still is. I sat beside him at lunch today and it is still a thrill.

















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