Minimizing Drama

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By far, the best thing I have minimized in my life is how I consume news.

It took some time to break the addiction but I no longer visit crappy news sites – I unfollow consistently negative people on social media and I have trained friends and family around me not to share the latest Trump blunder.

This does not mean I am ignoring the problems. 

I realized, during all the talk of fake news and biased reporting that the best way to get good news is to pay for it. News sites that rely on clicks and shares will always lean toward the dramatic. The attention grabbing. The horrifying. A freak show of modern life.

I live a simply. I gave up a higher paying job for more time and a more satisfying life and I have no regrets, but it does mean I can’t fork out $50 a month on various news outlets, so I found a balance that works for me.

Paid Sources:

National Geographic 3.25 EUR per month. The Economist Espresso Edition (app) 3.29 EUR a month (I would love the full subscription, but it’s out of my price range. Espresso give me the 6 top stories of the day which I find is still pretty good).

Free Sources: 

BBC – this is mostly good but I always approach it with caution. This morning for example I got a popup saying that some celebrity’s baby was born, and had to remove the ‘Breaking News’ notifications. The Intercept and Podcasts.

This gives me a total of 6.54 EUR a month that I am spending on news, and I hope to be able to spend more in the future with a full Economist subscription as well as Delayed Gratification which practices slow journalism.

By minimizing my feed I get all the information I need, all the information I can act on, without the utterly useless shouting match between left and right, conservative and liberal, blue dress or white dress people clogging up my mental space.

While there may be a sick satisfaction in laughing at the failings of a politician or public figure you dislike, it does not create change and it does not benefit your mental well-being.

One of the most useful things I ever did was a workshop offered by Human Rights Watch on how to verify information. It changed the way I read news, and I think it’s helped me sniff out the bullshit a lot faster so that I don’t waste my time and energy on bad reporting. I strongly encourage people to find a similar workshop or check out one of the many free MOOC’s online.

If you feel weighed down or overwhelmed by the news, try detoxing your news consumption. Talk to friends and family and tell them that although they might find Cofeve funny, the constant political chatter is making you unhappy.

You can be an active and engaged community member without filling your feed and your life with negativity. I still took part in the Woman’s March, March for Science and donate to my favorite charities without spending much mental energy on politicians I dislike. I am still up to date on world events without meme’s crowding my instagram or twitter accounts.

And most importantly, in my day to day life, I am happy.

 

 

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Minimizing Drama

3 thoughts on “Minimizing Drama

  1. Wow thanks for the great post! I sure agree with you that it seems like so often people get caught up in talking about a dramatic headline rather than the actual content of a story, which is frustrating. It’s hard to fight that urge for me too sometimes, and it makes it difficult to communicate the important parts of news. I really thank you for your advice on moving to these news sources, and getting me thinking about that. I love your message of moving away from negativity and toward more positive ways to make change – thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. erinlovestofu says:

      I really hope it helps you! I got to a very bad point a while ago where I was almost crying every day watching the news. I feel so much better with my current method and I have more energy for the big fights. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Enrique Borroto says:

    I gave up on news altogether. I only follow it if it seems important enough. I’m on neither side of the political game as I know how the rules really work, so I know how you feel about treading carefully when it comes to news sources.

    Like

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