The news is mostly fear and voyeurism
I was stuck in an airport with CNN blaring on the TV, so I wrote down the news stories in that hour-long period, many of which centered around voyeurism and fear. These were the stories during that hour:
- Woody Allen sex abuse scandal.
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman death.
- Is Obamacare bad for the economy?
- Woman loses second son to guns in 19 days.
- City sues online meetup site.
- Chemical spill in West Virginia.
After an hour of watching the news, I was over it, because:
- I feel powerless when the news tells me, rapid fire, 10 bad things in the world. Most of the time, being aware of all this stuff just clouds the brain. This perspective is not “head in the sand,” it’s keeping my neurons available for the stuff I have power to affect.
- Just because there are horrible crazy people doesn’t mean I need know about every last one. Being aware of all of them will make me scared to do things that I think are perfectly safe (e.g. Couchsurfing).
- With the internet, I can track things I care about without ever clicking on CNN.
- Of all the things that happen on earth in a day, the news curates those that will grab attention and sell ads, not what is actually most important.
We just watched the nightly news, blah, blah, blah, what wars we’re winning
and all this left wing right wing left my head spinning
–Alex Mead, an awesome musician from Buffalo