My Intent

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Newsworthy?

I like information. Sometimes too much of it. For many years, I'd watch the news, read the newspapers and magazines in an effort to stay current on what was happening. News on car bombings, celebrity breakups, health fads, kidnappings, environmental changes, fashion trends and so on were on absorbed by my mind.Did some of the news improve my life?  Yeah, some of it did.  For instance, I learned butter is healthier than margarine and I figured installing a water filter would be better for the environment than buying bottled water.

So I'm not saying that all news is bad.  You can be at a disadvantage if you're not aware of the latest news.  On this, I speak from experience.  I'm not advocating complete abstention from the news.  Although if that works for you, then cool.

I do think that people need to trim or examine their interest in the news.  If watching the news, causes you to improve your life, join an organization, donate to a charity or somehow galvanize you to action, then that is great.  For most of us though, we watch the news and passively absorb its content.  Our attention shifts from our own concerns, and suddenly, we're curious about Jennifer Anniston's love life, troubled by an overseas incident, or feverishly hoping that they find the missing child. 

The irony is that often these events have no bearing on our own lives. 

I've seen people who as a result of watching the latest news lose focus on their goals.  Or I've listened to people who say they want to be positive, then they talk about the latest murder.  Firstly, we're all human so I can understand such contradictory behavior and I know that I have my own set of contradictions.  I'm writing this post because it perplexes me when someone absorbs news yet it only makes them feel worse.
So if you have a news habit here are some ideas to consider...

If you're news watcher and wholeheartedly devoted to your habit, at least be more aware of how you feel when you watch the news.  Do you feel inspired, fearful, worried or reassured?  ("Reassured" meaning that some people may watch the news just to strengthen a conviction they have.)

What's your news causing you to think/feel/believe?

What news stories are featured on your morning/nightly news?  Is this honestly the best way to start/end your day?

How does watching or reading the news help you reach your goals or improve your life?  For instance, if you want to learn more about finance or health, then reading about those subjects can keep you up-to-date.

How well can you communicate the information that you've watched on the news?  What was the main point of the news story?  How much do you know about the subject?

How could you benefit by occassionally/indefinitely not watching/reading/listening to the news?  

How could you be selective about the news that you consume?

Could you reduce your news habit to once a day or per week?  Often news shows do a weekly wrap-up on Fridays or Saturdays.

See what it feels like to go one day without the news.  Do you feel more calm?  Out-of-touch with the world?  Did you even notice its absence?

All righty, it looks like I had a lot write on this topic.  ; ) Feel free to post a comment or suggestion on this tip.

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