I don't watch the news, I don't read the news, I do not engage in the news.
How can you do that?! How can you deliberately be so deliberately under informed Cryptogee!?!
Grrr, people like you are the problem, this is how they control us . . . when good people stand by and do nothing . . . you SHOULD watch the news, you HAVE to stay informed!"
"Do I? I don't believe I do. I think that you can live your life quite happily not being aware of anything going on outside of your sphere of influence and relevancy."
"Well Cryptogee, you're WRONG!"
YOU JUST ARE OKAY! NEWS IS IMPORTANT!
"I can see why news about an invading army marching on my home town is important, but why is just general news about anything and everything important to me?"
"It just is; OK?"
Memes Dreams and Autoresponders
What you have just read above is a mishmash of conversations I have had with various people over the last eight or so year over my decision to completely cut news out of my life.
Don't get me wrong, I am aware of stuff going on in the world. I know that Donald J Trump is the President of the United States.
I know that the United Kingdom is in turmoil as it decides exactly what gun to use to shoot itself in the foot.
I know that there was a tsunami recently that tragically affected the lives of thousands.
It is the details that I deliberately cut out of my life, I hear stories, I say to myself, *'hmm, that's interesting', then I move on. Occasionally, very occasionally, I will actually read or watch some stuff that I feel is relevant to me.
So why do I pathologically avoid the news?
Firstly, news is depressing, it allows me to view world events of which I have absolutely no control over, through a lens smeared with pessimism and despair. By ingesting these events, I feel anxiety and depression, if I ignore them I feel neither.
Secondly the people reporting a news story want you to think in a certain way. One news outlet wants you to hate Donald Trump, another wants you to love him. One news outlet wants you to hate immigrants, another wants you to love them unconditionally.
These reasons are enough for anyone not to mindlessly ingest the news, and therein lies the point, it is not so much that I ignore the news. The real point is that if I do research a news story, then I have told myself that I must view it from all angles.
If CNN or the BBC tell me to think something, then I must go to Fox and RT to see what they are telling me to think. Then I must go to Twitter and Infowars and see what people on there want me to think.
All in all it's a very exhausting process, and utterly futile.
Much better to simply summarise news by reading memes that pop up on my Facebook feed, and read a couple of automated responses from my news drone friends, who gorge on news stories as if they provide actual sustenance instead of depression and confusion.
MAGA And The Native Americans
There was a story recently of which I was only peripherally aware of, in which a young American with a Make America Great Again (MAGA) baseball cap, was apparently saying or doing something to a native American man which was not good.
Then today I spotted a couple of stories saying that actually it was the Native American man who was doing something not good.
I still couldn't quite bring myself to read the story, I simply googled MAGA Native American and skimmed over the headlines, one of them caught my eye, so I clicked on it.
The story was from CNN Business, they were giving themselves blowjobs over the fact that it was they who pointed out to Twitter, that the original account that flamed the whole MAGA/Native American encounter, was in fact a fake account.
The Twitter account in question was meant to be a California high school teacher, but in fact used a picture of an attractive (it didn't say that, I'm just assuming you wouldn't use a pic of an ugly person) Brazilian blogger. The account tweeted about 130 times a day, and the tweets were highly polarised and political.
Of course CNN Business ignored the fact that (I'm guessing) their counterparts over at the main CNN probably reported on the story in the same way everyone else did. But hey-ho, at least CNN Business are looking out for us and protecting the public from fake news (for the non native English speakers among you, that was sarcasm).
Eat Not Gorge Drink Not Drown
Getting information from the internet is like trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant.
We should all watch less news, by doing so your mental health will improve, and you also avoid being willingly manipulated to think a certain way.
Oh I'm sure you are too clever to be manipulated by fake news. But that's the problem with manipulation, is you are not aware of it till after the fact.
If you are like most people who get their news from one main source then you are being manipulated, and before you go all smug on me and say; "Ah cryptogee, I get my news from a multitude of sources", I would say to that, yes, but I bet they all think* the same way.
They are all either liberal or conservative, they all present the news with their own bias. Unless you are going through the mentally exhausting process of checking out every news story you come across from every possible angle, then you are being told what to think, and what is worse, you are listening.
"Yeah, but I don't listen to mainstream media, so I am not being manipulated."
That my friend, is the biggest manipulation of all, because you believe that it is only the mainstream media that have an agenda.
Whether it's Alex Jones on Infowars, or The Young Turks, they all want you to think a certain way about the news stories they feed you, and that's the problem, they're not feeding you with a delicate fork, they are shoving it down your throat with a gardening trowel.
You are drinking from a fire hydrant, feeding from a trough, you need to step back, walk away and in future decide when, where, and how you are going to dine.
Just remember, news is not food or water, your natural lifespan is not affected one bit by whether you know what is happening in one corner of the world or another.
In the context of modern life, this maelstrom of hyper-connectivity we have built around ourselves that spews forth a daily cornucopia of irrelevant information, covering us with the bile of fake and agenda driven news; ignorance truly is . . .
Till next time, together in ignorance, Cryptogee.
Title image: Fair use screenshot of CNN Youtube video thumb
WHAT ARE YOUR ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE NEWS? DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN MAINSTREAM AND OTHER TYPES OF NEWS? DO YOU READ NEWSPAPERS, ONLINE NEWS SITES, OR WATCH TV NEWS?
DO YOU OFTEN FEEL DEPRESSED FOR NO APPARENT REASON? OR PERHAPS YOU FEEL IT DOESN'T EFFECT YOU? OR MAYBE EVEN YOU FEEL THE DEPRESSION IS WORTH IT IN ORDER TO STAY INFORMED? WHAT EVER YOUR THOUGHTS, AS EVER, LET ME KNOW BELOW!