Here’s some breaking news for you:
In most cases, the news is never breaking.
Instead, it breaks you.
When was the last time you read a news story, or watched a CNN debate, and walked away happier than before?
Cleverly designed clickbait headlines, enticing thumbnails and “breaking news” banners lure us in, tapping into a part of our subconscious and making us feel like, if we don’t consume CNN or The New York Times, that we’re missing out. That we’re bad citizens for not paying attention to the day’s issues.
In the best case scenario, if you’re an avid news consumer, you walk away feeling informed.
Great. And that lands you where?
Unless you work in government, the answer is nowhere.
And in the worst case scenario, you make vapid small talk with friends, family and colleagues about the news, which oftentimes leads to disagreements and differences of opinion that drive wedges between you and those you care about.
And remember that the news rarely highlights positive, uplifting stories.
Because when we’re speeding down the highway, we take our eyes off the road to look at the car crash, not the good samaritan who’s decided to help a stranger attach a new tire.
News outlets understand this, so they inundate us with shootings, fires, kidnappings and all sorts of incidents that do nothing but upset us.
And still we fall for it.
Is that really an industry you want to support?
Trust me, if the news is big enough, like a White House insurrection or a renewed mask mandate in your area, the news will find you. If something will immediately impact your life, someone will tell you about it, or you’ll notice it for yourself.
(Plus, with so much fragmentation and amateurism in the industry now, which news sources can we even trust to provide us with reliable information in the first place?)
And yes, it sounds privileged to live in a manner that’s blissfully ignorant of knowing the happenings of our communities and in Washington, D.C.
But then you look at the Piraha people, a small hunting-and-gathering tribe that lives on the banks of the Amazon River.
They come from nothing. They have nothing. They know nothing.
And yet they’re labeled as the happiest people in the world, because they prioritize love and community above all else.
All that matters is their little world, and nothing outside of it.
Why can’t we function the same way?
Go ahead, give it a try. Turn off the notifications, stop the subscriptions and unfollow the accounts.
Soon enough, you’ll discover that you’re not missing out on anything.
And you’ll be happier for it.