I made the mistake of reading the news tonight. It was terrifying. I’ve been doing just fine not keeping up with the news for months now. Ever since the 2016 election, I’ve mostly just kept my head down. I haven’t felt out of touch or under-informed. I haven’t missed out on anything. I haven’t missed the chance to trade a hot stock at just the right moment.
But tonight I made the mistake of hitting the default news app on my phone. I don’t know why I did it.
The problem with the news is that mixed in with the stuff you feel like you should stay informed about are stories of murders and child abuse and death-by-weather.
It’s upsetting, and not in that makes-you-think way.
Social media, too. I realized after writing yesterday’s Joseph and the Poets installment that the poet’s affliction is a proxy for our social-media-consumed lives. I haven’t missed checking Facebook and Twitter all the time in the three years since I gave them up for good. I kept a YouTube and Reddit habit but they too have recently felt vapid and are fading away. In fact, it was while looking for something easy to read besides Reddit while putting children to bed that I turned to the news.
We just don’t need to know. Certainly not in that much detail. Not repeatedly. Not about things we don’t actually care about.
So I am investing more time in communities like 200wad. I’m investing in the worlds between the covers of books. I’m investing in music. I’m investing in real life.