Why Avoiding the News is Not the Answer

by Rome Cease

Turn on the news. It’s a complete and utter disaster, and that is an understatement. The world seems to have spun completely off its axis.

As a result, the news continues to be disappointing, emotionally corrosive and overwhelming. Many have tried to take the matter into their own hands, by avoiding news at all costs.

“Out of sight, out of mind”, a phrase you might live by when it comes to your ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, this method may do more harm than good when it comes to current events.

Recently, I noticed that most of my friends had given up the on the news. Keep in mind it’s 2017, so they were still getting some news on Instagram and Twitter, but it was mostly over-processed celeb drama. A headline with no substance.

One day I decided to ask, “Why don’t you watch the news?”

“It just sucks”, she said.

Of course, I made her elaborate. She explained further how the news is painful to watch. How it changes her mood and her outlook. How it makes her uncomfortable. And I agree with that. I think right now, we all can. This is what the world has become. Although keeping up with current events may be a daunting task at the moment, keep in mind – this is what is happening around you. Around us.

Sure, ignorance may be bliss, but it’s also just plain ignorance. One shouldn’t be comfortable being unaware and in the dark about the world around them. You are part of this society. You should have a firm understanding of what is going on in it. Anything less than that would be simply irresponsible.

Maintaining current knowledge about politics, crime, finance, scientific and medical advancements is crucial to making the best, most informed decisions about your life, your government and your future.

The news gives you a better understanding of your community, your society, and your world. It signals you to action, and encourages involvement. Current events inform you on what exactly needs to change.

Another friend brought up the declining quality of news media. Avoiding news has also become a silent protest against the major news sources who always seem to get it wrong. To these silent protestors: I understand your concern completely. There are a number of mainstream news sources that continue to present us with biased coverage and commentary that frames, exaggerates or downplays stories and situations. The “24 hour news cycle”, a cycle in which news media is continually looking for the newest content, is also to blame. By using this cycle, important stories may get superseded by less significant ones, for no reason other than following the cycle.

If you find a problem in the way news is being presented to you, then change it! I too am a skeptic of mainstream news media, but I don’t believe it should be the reason you avoid news altogether. There is a solution! Research news, before you fully digest it. Find more reliable sources. Be aware of potential fallacies. If you

Whatever your reason may be for avoiding the news, understand that it’s much too important to eliminate from your life completely.

The news may upset you or frustrate you, but it will also empower you in making change and creating a better tomorrow. The precursor to change is awareness.

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