News, politics and feeding anxiety.
I don’t follow news. I have given up television 6 years ago. I don’t read newspapers. I don’t have a habit of following news online.
Recently I reconnected with an acquaintance from my past and we connected on the Facebook as well. Unlike me, he reads the news. He often posts articles with his comments on his Timeline. I found it interesting and started reading his comments. Then following to read the articles as well. I thought, it is probably important for me to start being informed as well.
Most comments and articles were of a negative nature. It seems that our current political powers want to rob us of our future and ruin our lives.
After doing this for a month or so, I realized that my future is starting to look fairly bleak. Most importantly, I have noticed that I am starting to get upset by what I read. My overall level of happiness was negatively impacted by what I was learning.
I asked myself a question: “Does it make sense for me to continue reading the news, if it makes me unhappy?” On one hand it seemed ridiculous to hide my head in the sand and ignore what is happening around me and subsequently to me. On the other hand, there was nothing that I could do to change the situation. I don’t have the power to influence the decision makers. At least not by reading or discussing the news.
After some deliberation I stopped following the news. I feel happier now. The uneasy filling that the bastards will ruin us all is still present, but it’s grip on me is fading. I decided, that if they will make my future miserable, the least I can do is enjoy my life until then.
Soon after, I realized that the friend that inadvertently exposed me to this “unhappiness” suffers from anxiety. He recognizes his condition and openly speaks about it in conversations and on the Facebook.
It made me wonder: “How much do negative news affect his condition?” Acquiring information that paints a problematic future combined with a realization that there is nothing that can be done to prevent it seems like the perfect fuel for anxiety.
I wanted to reach out to my friend and tell him about my discovery as well as suggest taking a month long break from following the news. I wonder if it would make a difference to the quality of his life and his feeling of happiness.
The conversation seemed like a bit of an awkward one to undertake though. I decided to write this article and share the link with him instead.