I stopped watching the news & you should too

Opinions vs Facts, what is shown to us & how it is impacting us

Photo by Nijwam Swargiary on Unsplash

Before I share my experience with what the news was doing to me & my emotional behavior let me give you my background.

I am an extrovert by nature & love talking to people face to face, though I hate meetings over the network. I like solving problems through white-boarding & believe in interpersonal chats over emails.

This should give you an idea that how much I would hate the lockdown & quarantine days.

When COVID-19 & the lockdown stuck all of us, I was very optimistic that it is just a temporary phase & it will pass quickly. I counted days & thought I will be back in the office soon. That was stupid of me. Moreover, as interstate travel is not allowed I am staying alone as my family isn’t able to travel.

Being alone, low on the spirit, I was looking for positivity & hope & the news was adding to my woes.

I remember in the 90s there used to be a news bulletin that gave a summary of the news for the day in 15mins & that news was just news, not opinions.

These days what is presented as news is not just information, it is the opinion of the news agency.

News has become stories & which can shatter your hopes & influence your thought process, your outlook towards the society.

There is a lot of negativity, hatred & spiced up stories shown on the news channels that can impact you adversely during these times when everybody is having difficulties be it economical, emotional or physical.

During the initial phase of the lockdown seeking some positive & hopeful signs I was watching a lot of news to be informed & it didn’t help. The number of COVID-19 cases kept increasing, though my government is doing an amazing job in containing it. The news channels for TRP, show hatred & angst so much that it was impacting me. I felt low & was losing emotional strength.

The other source of news these days, WhatsApp, had mostly the fake news.

Everything is a ‘Breaking News’ which is presented in an extreme fashion. Things are flashed in red to make it look serious.

I am not advocating ignorance or denial for information around you but the way it is presented is not just right.

So I decided to give up on watching the news. Keeping myself restricted to speed news which covers like 50 to 100 news items in 10 mins. This keeps me informed of what’s going on at the same time keeping me away from long hours of the same story being opinionated by the news channels. I think to know that much is enough. I would rather invest the time I would have wasted in watching heated debates myself, learning a new skill or doing yoga or helping people around me.

There is so much hatred already & I believe news channels are propagating it.

Even on Facebook, there is a lot of hate, I had so many keyboard warriors in my timeline who had very strong opinions about one side of the story & my timeline was full of fake news, hatred & call to action messages. I started unfollowing such people.

For two weeks I have been away from this input of negativity into me & I feel better emotionally. I know things wouldn’t have changed actually in the world but rather than hearing somebody’s opinions I thought I will let that decision/opinion-making to myself.

I am spending the time I was wasting in watching the news/Facebook timeline, in calling my childhood friends with whom I had lost contact. I spend more time talking to my parents, my wife & relatives, neighbors.

As I see improvement in my emotional quotient by quitting the news, I am sharing my experience with you.

I would love to know your thoughts about it, if you have similar experiences, I would like to learn from them.

And lastly, all of you who are reading this, STAY STRONG & don’t let opinions force negativity in you.

Full-stack engineer, drummer, running on JS & Music. “Frameworks & Libraries come & go, JS stays ❤” https://www.linkedin.com/in/gauravbehere/

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