5 Reasons not to follow the news

Here are 5 reasons not to follow the mainstream news:

  1. Most of it isn’t actionable. It’s not going to change what you do, or how you do it.
  2. Since it’s not actionable, it’s a waste of time. Usually at times of day when you’re at your best, and you could be doing something that is more productive.
  3. NONE of it is free of bias, so as soon as you take news from one source, you really need to get a few others. This multiplies both the effects and the time required.
  4. The bias is toward raising your emotions. Remember that news shows are just like regular shows – they sell advertising, have ratings, etc. – and hooking you as a viewer is the first priority. Having your emotions raised without resolving them leaves you wound up with nowhere to go. This state of being is counterproductive. When emotions are raised and then resolved by the media, we have another term for it – ENTERTAINMENT.
  5. The more you know about current events, the more willing you are to spend time discussing them. Discussions with those who disagree is a waste of time, discussions with those who agree is also usually a waste of time.

Instead of following the news on a daily basis, keep up with it on a weekly or biweekly basis. Focus the effort where it matters: Before elections, public hearings, etc. and when making decisions that are especially long term or other times when the news might do you some good.

I don’t watch the news regularly, and I figure I save an hour or so a day by doing so. Instead I focus my effort when something  really important is happening, and between friends, relatives, coworkers, and twitter far too much still gets through.

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