Is news addiction taking over our lives? Have we become obsessed with the news? Can it affect our mood and thus our general outlook on life? Think about it. One of the first things we do every day, consciously or not, is tune into some form of news media. Whether it is a television radio news program, an online news site or even our social media feeds are flooded with the latest news. If we are inundated with bad news first thing in the morning, of course, it’s going to have a direct effect on our mood. But is it addictive?
Think of how many times a day we turn on the news in some form. It becomes a topic of discussion amongst our family, our friends and our co-workers. We often get in heated debates as we have strong feelings on specific issues. All of this can affect our mood. Read more to find out how this addiction to news is taking over our lives.
Stop watching the news and get happy
In an article in theguardian.com, author Rolf Dobelli outlines ten reasons why need to break away from our news addiction.
- News is misleading
- The news is irrelevant to our lives.
- There is no explanatory power in the news.
- The news is toxic to your health.
- News leads cognitive mistakes.
- The news is inhibiting the thought process.
- The news is a drug.
- News is a waste of time
- News is turning us into a passive society
- The news is blocking our creativity.
Dobelli states that if we can wean ourselves from news entirely, we will have a more positive outlook on life, indicating the reasons mentioned above as proof. He agrees that we need journalism. However, he firmly believes that we should only follow investigative journalism as that is what is most relevant. Dobelli feels that we need to stay focused on the facts and not someone’s interpretation of them. He also states that we need to keep our minds active by reading books as well. After at least four years of avoiding the news media, he says that he is much happier and feels that everyone should apply this practice to their lives as well to relieve stress and anxiety.
Why are people addicted to the news?
In his book, Breaking the habit tonight: The Ultimate Guide to Breaking Any Habit (Based on Psychology), author M.Farouk Radwan, MS, states that we can become addicted to the news the same way we can become addicted to food, alcohol, and drugs. He believes that news affects our brains on a subconscious level and thus affects our mood. Read more about his thoughts about addiction and bad habits here.
How to break your news addiction
In the following article on Mental Floss, Michele Debczak offers the following advice to cut yourself of your addiction to the news:
- Be conscious of your daily patterns and habits.
- Switch up the way you view the news.
- Take breaks if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
- Keep everything in perspective (and do research when needed to back up facts).
- Do some volunteer work to a cause about which you feel passionate.
- Take care of your physical and mental health.
- Learn to let it go.
Do you think you can try to break your news addiction? Try it, even for just one day and see if it changes your life! It is essential to be informed, but it is equally as important to take a break and not obsess over information that you are being fed. OPTOFF.