I am old enough to recall a time when printed newspapers were the primary, and often the sole, source of news. Things were relatively simple back then. No, I'm not saying things were better. They were simpler.
At the same time, I am young enough to remember growing up with the news becoming 24x7. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the Gulf War unfolded live on our television screens. Watching these events as they happened was exhilarating. Until it wasn't.
First, a significant shift occurred as it became available in real-time. We are flooded with coverage of every aspect of life, and everyone shares their worldview. Always on broadcasting has been replaced by endless scrolling and hunt for updates. The ever inflated reporting eroded news significance. Leading to the drive to be (at least virtually) at the source of events. To make - or better to re-affirm - own opinions.
Second change become when it became personal. No matter where we live there are deeply personal news. Possibly affecting our personal or family wellbeing in short or long term. You can sympathise with a coup 10 000 miles away, but when it gets to you, there's no escaping. Unless you have strong willpower, you get from - 'paying attention to take appropriate action to protect/respond' to being completely absorbed. You can't be impartial. Or very few of us can be.
In past, I hadn't paid much attention to the news, but the last three years have undoubtedly changed that. Nevertheless, amidst an abundance of near-catastrophic and world-changing events, I too realised that I can't change the world. As a parent, I had to focus on helping my children make sense of all these changes, showing them what's right and what's not. Encouraging them to contribute in a personal, tangible way became our ultimate goal – something physical and relatable for them.
However, that's all that it's to it. News isn't really news anymore; it's just noise—a constant distraction. The world is (and always has been) changing, and we need to adapt. Being scared, vulnerable, and stressed won't help anyone. To face these changes, we all need to harness our strength, slow down and take things easy.
In response to all this, I didn't just started to ignore the news; I reduced my already minimal use of social networks. Started consuming smaller amounts of high-quality reporting rather than daily updates. If there's something truly urgent, someone else is likely to tell me anyway. For the rest, I rely on a few trusted sources. They all share one thing in common. They are all published on at least weekly or monthly basis. If the news is still coverage worthy in a month I might also read about it. Or not.
So, what did I do with the time I used to spend watching the news? As I mentioned in my previous post, I turned to reading instead. Exploring not just fiction, but also history. After all, when better to remember that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it? And started this blog.