No News Is Good News

I wondered whether sometimes no news is good news. By that I mean whether limiting your exposure to the news can have health benefits. Prior to having children I was much more able to keep up to date with international news. I had time to read the paper every day, laze over the Sunday Times and its supplements at the weekend and catch the headlines every day on Breakfast News. Now Paw Patrol has taken over as the programme of choice on our TV each morning and I don’t have time to read a daily paper. Therefore I am not as exposed to bad news, and you know I think this has had a positive effect on me.

Nobody likes to hear bad news. What seems like constant reports of war, death, and political upheaval can have a negative effect on us as we feel powerless to help. This constant exposure can leave you feeling anxious and worried. I do question the necessity of 24 hour news coverage. The repetition of the headlines every hour is enough to make you switch off. If this is you, try to limit your exposure.

Equally what doesn’t help is our use of social media. These days social media platforms are no longer being used as a way for people to keep in touch. They have turned into forums to discuss pretty much anything. Certainly when scrolling through my social media feeds I have seen things I wasn’t expecting to see and didn’t want to see including disturbing images and horrible comments. Whether it’s shock tactics to make people act, I don’t know, but it’s not what I signed up for.

When either my husband or I manage to read an entire paper, our usual response is “Well the world is going to hell in a handcart”. But even though we feel this way, this isn’t actually the case. There is definitely an argument for good news channels as the world isn’t as bad as the headlines suggest. Crime levels have reduced, quality of life has improved for millions of people worldwide, and medical and health advances along with education mean we are living longer, healthier lives.

If you notice that watching or listening to the news or spending time on social media doesn’t make you feel good, then limit what you watch and read, and put your phone down. Are you willing to give it a go?