Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News
A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything useful that’s been lost. It becomes clear that those years of news-watching amounted to virtually nothing in terms of improvement to your quality of life, lasting knowledge, or your ability to help others.
You were never actually accomplishing anything or get informed by watching the news.
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A common symptom of quitting the news is an improvement in mood.
We don't get a sample of what is really happening in the world. TV selections exploit our negativity bias. They select what’s unusual, awful, and probably going to be popular.
There is an extraordinary gulf between having a functional understanding of an issue, and the cursory glance you get from the news.
Watching the news doesn't inform people particularly well.
The news provides information in infinite volume but very limited depth, and it’s clearly meant to agitate us more than educate us. Every minute spent watching the news is a minute you are unavailable for learning about the world in other ways.
Watching the news makes us feel like we’re doing something when we’re not.
We feel bad ignoring the bad stuff that happens in the world. So we keep watching: Because watching disasters unfold, even while we do nothing, at least feels a little more compassionate than switching off.
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