Is News Bad for Your Health?

face in the newsMaybe it’s just me, but every time I turn on the TV (OK, the computer) and check the news, it often makes the world look just a little bit bleaker.

I think that with the 24/7 news cycle, we’re all bombarded with so much news, news, news (most of which is bad, bad, bad) that it skews our outlook on things.

I knew I wasn’t alone when I came across this article from The Guardian, which says:

News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic.”

For instance, parenting is now a scary endeavor, what with molesters, kidnappers, rogue viruses and mysterious illnesses seemingly lurking around every corner. It almost takes an act of courage to send the kids out the door every day. Of course, the news will tell me that they aren’t even safe at home, what with home invasions, house fires, and dreaded sinkholes like the one that swallowed a Florida man while he slept.

Even just daily life seems fraught with danger. I know I for one can’t use my neti pot with tap water any more, thanks to the news informing me of a fatal brain-eating amoeba connected with neti pot usage.I know I would have been so much happier not knowing about that darn amoeba, but no, I had to watch the news. Forget that people have been using these things with who-knows-what in the water for millennia and were all probably OK. Add to list of parenting worries that same amoeba lurking in warm lake water where kids like to swim. Who cares that the I stand a better chance of winning the lottery? Can’t take a chance of a microorganism ingesting my brain or my kid’s brain, now can I? Thanks a lot, naegleria fowleri.

So, what’s a person to do? According to  The Guardian, stop watching/reading the news. Here’s what they say:

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether.

Can I do it? Can I bypass my homepage without looking over the headlines or taking one quick click to a story or two? Can I quit my morning news and weather routine? Can you do it? Would you want to?

I think I might try it. How about you?

Photo Credit: paurian via Compfight cc

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