This past election cycle in the U.S. was one of the more contentious ones. Whether “your” candidate won or lost, there was a lot of stress on both sides of the aisle, and it is reasonable to say that the stress continues today.
A great many people have harmed themselves by devouring the news constantly. It creates unnecessary stress, anger and a host of other negative emotions. It steals your time and your energy, and it doesn’t leave you with anything good in exchange.
The news that you might read on Facebook, Yahoo! or MSN, or watch on CBS, CNN or Fox News is designed to pull you in and to create an emotional rise. That emotional rise, when it occurs continually, is a bad thing for you.
When I think to the news that I’ve read, watched or heard, 99% or more of it has no real significant impact on my life. It doesn’t change how I make decisions. It doesn’t change how I interact with the world. It doesn’t do anything of value except, often, try to make me angry and waste my time, so that there is an additional set of eyes to look at the advertisements. It tries to pull me in so that I’ll develop this urge to check the news and stay current on all of the information that is presented to me, even though that information isn’t really useful.
I think of family members who watch the evening news. This person’s house burned down. This person lost their dog. Someone else ran into a telephone pole and power was out. If I see on the news that there was a drug bust, horrible behavior and someone died but I wasn’t a part of it, it probably has no impact on me.
Think back to all of the time you’ve read or watched the news, and ask yourself 1. “How much do I remember?” and 2. “What did I get out of it?”
If the creek that overflows every time there is a heavy rain does so for the 975th time, I probably already know that. When the creek overflows for that 975th time and floods the local car dealership for the 975th time, it doesn’t matter to me. I already know that that happens. I already know that if I were to go buy a used car from a dealer whose business is located on a flood plain that there’s a chance I might be buying a car that was in a flood.
If people are fighting over politics on the television, it probably isn’t worth my time to watch because when election time comes, I’m going to make my own decision on who to vote for.
Most of the posts on Facebook aren’t significant, and it isn’t important to keep reading what everyone else is doing. It is important to do what matters and what you enjoy for your own life.
The bottom line is this. Most of the news, the social media updates, and the commentary that we consume ranges from useless to toxic. Don’t waste your life reading about other people who are living theirs. Don’t waste your life being made angry by other people who are only baiting you to look at advertisements.
Turn off the news, find the app that disables the news or update feeds, don’t check the websites. You will find that you aren’t missing much, but have much less stress and live better.
People who succeed tend to build that success on their own. People who don’t build the lives that they want can often attribute that to wasting their time and their energy.