Staying informed is a strength, but for many people it’s mushroomed into an obsession with the news.
Personally, I found that certain subjects were “triggering” anxiety in me and I have cut way back on news and social media consumption. I also unfollowed or unfriended individuals who spent most of their social media time baiting people with hostile political rants. These steps led to improved sleep and better mental health.
Through my fascination with propaganda and the creation of this web site, I learned how media is manipulative. I learned how it uses emotional hooks as bait for our attention, and how these hooks inflame our emotional state. I learned that ranting on social media is not healthy for those doing the ranting nor for their drive by victims.
I learned that a large quantity of news is speculation, often intended to inflame our emotions (and the speculation generally proves unfounded when we look back at old news stories). I also learned that much news is pointless, exaggerated, lacking in context or surprisingly wrong. We pretend we are being informed when in reality news is mostly a distraction and a form of entertainment.
We’ve gone to a 24 x 7 cable TV driven news cycle – where almost all of it is repetitive drivel and speculation of no importance to any of us. We will doubtfully remember most stories in a day, let a lone in a week.