Why I don’t read the news – BREAKING NEWS: A 6.5 earthquake reported just a few hours ago in India. Man finally caught after keeping 3 girls in his secret basement at home. Huge forest fire in Sydney, Australia. Jennifer Lopez splits from Alex Rodriguez after 4 years. Highest unemployment rates recorded in Philippine history. 38 people dead in mass gunfire shooting in Ohio. Somalia President resigns from position amid rumors of corruption. New world record for holding breath underwater.
Big news, right? So alarming. So informative.
Do you need to know all these things every single day? Ok, so some of these news I just made up, but some could be true. The point here is, this is the typical news you see everyday your entire life. How has this helped your daily productivity throughout your life on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest? If you scored a solid 8 to 10, you seriously need help.
For the rest of us 7 and below, we’re absurdly too well informed yet why do we know so little really? About two centuries have passed since humans created the most toxic type of knowledge called “THE NEWS”. Compare news to the mind what sugar does to our body. Very invigorating to the taste, easy to eat, but highly destructive in the long run.
A little over 2 years ago, I started a simple test. I unsubscribed to all reading, listening and viewing type of news, especially on Social Media.
Then, I removed all bookmarks to news sites regardless of the genre: Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment and everything else.
Furthermore, I stopped watching the news on TV and stopped listening on any audio source. I deleted these apps on my phone, from CNN to ESPN.
I stopped touching any type of newspaper, free or paid.
In short, I don’t read the news anymore.
It was difficult for the first few weeks. Very difficult. I felt like I was missing out on what was happening to the world, especially in sports, where I loved watching the NBA. But eventually, after some time, doing this exercise completely changed my outlook in life.
I now have more valuable insights. I make better decisions more than ever. My thoughts are a lot clearer. I get to filter the junk through my friends. The best part? I don’t feel like I have missed anything important whatsoever.
My real life social network (not social media), despite the pandemic, the one that comes from the real world coming from real people I talk to like friends, family or acquaintances. They all work as my news filter and they keep me in the loop of what’s really important. An earthquake in our province in Batangas City, my cousins who live there will text me about it. A big trade in the NBA trade deadline? My High School classmate will tell me about it via our group chat on Whatsapp. Another lockdown happening by Monday? My wife will tell me the details about it. It’s people who tell me what is happening in the real world. Not some writer I don’t really know but I’m sure is credible.
Our minds react inappropriately to different types of information. Shocking, scandalous, human-based, noisy, quick changing details tend to stimulate us. Compared to complex, abstract and unprocessed information that sedates our thoughts. Another reason why not to read the news.
News producers capitalize on these scenarios. Images that are obtrusively bright, gripping story headlines and sensationalized facts all capture our attention. Here’s how the news money making business model works.
Advertisers buy space and they finance the news that revolves around. This is with the condition that their ads can be seen in between these articles or news. What happens next? Whatever is simple, complete, abstract and profound needs to be filtered out. Even though these stories are more relevant to our lives and to how we understand the world.
We walk around with a distortedly unorganized mental map of the risks and the various threats we face out in the real world. This is the result of the news consumption that we take upon every day.
News Flash: NEWS IS NOT RELEVANT. In the next 365 days of your life, you would have between 5,000 to 15,000 various types of news or about 25-40 types of news every single day. This is why I don’t read the news. It consumes too much of my time for more relevant things in my life.
Here’s a test. Name one news that’s recent that has helped you make a good decision for your life, your business or your career. Then compare that to not having that piece of news. Chances are, you won’t be able to name more than two or three news stories out of that 15,000. That’s a horrible percentage, right?
News sources make sure that their information gives you that “competitive edge”. Millions of people fall for this. The truth is, news consumption represents a real competitive disadvantage. If the news that we read helped people get ahead, these journalists would be on the very top of the income pyramid. But in reality, it’s the other way around.
The most important reason why I don’t read the news? It’s such a waste of my time. An average human will spend 4 to 8 hours in a day every week reading or watching the current news affairs. Globally, this is a huge loss of productivity.
Use any recent terrorist attacks anywhere in the world that killed 50 to 200 people. One billion people spent an hour of their time to following the aftermath of that awfully devastating incident. Everyone spent their time on minute by minute updates and listened to these “experts” and “commentators”. This comes out as a logical guess or an estimate. A billion people with a billion hours that was spent on news instead of working. Staggering.
Convert this and we learn that news consumption wasted at least 3,000 to 4,000 lives. Multiple times more than the terrorist attacks. Sarcastic? A little. Accurate observation? A lot.
I can guarantee you this. Removing yourself from the news will benefit you so much more than anything else. If this hasn’t convinced you to curb that junk habit, I don’t know what will. Spend that free time you will get instead to read books and old articles on improving your health, wealth or mindset. Books are so underrated in understanding how our world really works.
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READ MORE ON STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS: https://antonioaguirrejr.com/failure-your-best-friend/