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How to Be a Better News Consumer

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https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-be-a-better-news-consumer/

scientificamerican.com

How to Be a Better News Consumer
Lately I find myself feeling increasingly anxious, angry and demoralized after reading the news. Still, I refresh my phone's news app (my main news delivery device these days) multiple times a day, like a rat looking for one more drop of sugar water.

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Informing ourselves

Most people think that we have a responsibility to remain informed, but keeping up with the news can make us feel increasingly anxious, angry and demoralized.

The constant flood of inform...

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Find the right dose

According to psychiatrist M.Katherine Shear, many people feel bogged down by the news. 22% of subjects in a 2015 study experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after viewing violen...

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Read past the headlines

People regularly share stories based only on headlines. Five or six words are not enough to tell the entire story.

Researchers found that 59 % of shared news links had never been clicked thro...

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Be your own fact-checker

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 23% of people admit to having shared a fake news story on Facebook, be it on purpose or unknowingly.

When in doubt, cross-check storylines your...

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Diversify your media diet

We tend to read the news that confirms what we already believe, or we read news from a single outlet.

Diversify your news app by including multiple outlets for your news.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

"Getting it right is expensive, getting it first is cheap."

 - Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, on news.

Media Manipulation

It’s when media uses its reach and persuasion power to make people do or think things they otherwise would not. This often comes in the form of exaggeration, distortion, fabrication and simplification.

Roots Of Media Manipulation

Media manipulation exploits the difference between perception and reality using the still remaining trust for truthful content it once had. But the current fast and hyper-competitive nature of the media business driven by clicks and often guided by untrained bloggers or malicious sources contributes to the spread of misinformation even among the mainstream media.

Taking good breaks

This is important for your daily productivity. Good breaks can leave us feeling refreshed and energized. It can reduce mental fatigue, boost brain function and keep us on-task for extended periods....

The brain and goal management

The prefrontal cortex of the brain is mainly responsible for goal management. It orchestrates attention, working memory and other cognitive resources to help us get what we want.

For a challenging task, briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation. Doing activities that rely on different brain regions is best to restore focus.

Going Natural

Exposure to nature restores the mind. One study showed better working memory scores for people after a walk in a natural environment, but not in an urban setting.

If you are unable to go into nature, find plants, fresh air or a fish tank. Sit down, take a deep breath, and notice the details of nature. Research shows that even looking at some pictures of nature can work.

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"Healthy: Dark Chocolate

Mars Inc. - the company that has brought us M&M's or Snickers - sponsored 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers starting from the 80s. Mars controlled the research agenda and only funded the posi...

Not really good for your health

The biggest health claim is that cocoa lowers blood pressure, but no study has proven that it reduces the risk of heart disease or attacks. And considering the added sugars it probably does more harm than good. 

A Child's Mental Health

A Child's Mental Health

Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening ri...

Antidepressants And Opioid Epidemic

Pharmaceuticals are playing a major role in the deterioration of mental health among young people. There is a link between teen suicidal thinking and antidepressant use, along with a link being seen in actual suicides among the young and the use of opioids in their families.

Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

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Our mental processes and habits

E-thinking has moved us into habits of grabbing our phones to answer the simplest of questions: finding the map directions to a known address, or calculating the square root of four.

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You can’t pay attention to anything

Attention is selecting which elements you look at, interact with, and remember. Attention can get tired, like a muscle.

The internet is a very powerful stimulus for attention. It offers information constantly, demanding and overloading a system that was designed to function in the low to medium social networks of the natural world.

The burden of task-switching

Trying to protect oneself from boredom and the fear of missing out (FOMO), has caused people to switch from tab to tab, or screen to screen on the desktop. 

People switch between content on computers every 19 seconds, viewing the content for less than a minute. Multitasking this way breaks concentration. You lose time with this and context-switching and deplete your available mental energy.

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Being Frugal Is Not Cheap

Frugal people do spend money, but want the maximum bang for the buck, without stressing themselves.

Frugality does not mean compromising quality, neglecting your social life, or being a...

Be A Smart Spender

  • Use tools like financial books, podcasts, and online savings groups.
  • Avoid indulging in unnecessary expenses daily, reducing them or finding healthier and more affordable alternatives.
  • Cultivate a healthier attitude and the right mindset towards your finances.
  • Know that small, practical, money-saving actions can compound into better living for you in the long run.

Use Smart Hacks

There are plenty of financial and budgeting tools and apps that can help us manage our funds, keep track of our expenses, and trigger us when we are off-track.

Simple hacks like carrying a debit card or cash instead of a credit card, or deleting our card details from shopping sites can help us avoid spending impulsively.

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