Limiting News

As above, so below.

I found that over the last 2 or 3 years I’ve enjoyed SL more when not reading the main blogs about it, the ones that really go deep into it, pull it apart or build it up. You know the ones.  You know the people. Anyhoo, in doing so I have, as I say, enjoyed SL more. Sure I’ve had flip outs and rants about stuff  (bastard group IMs being my current blood-boiling, see-red, killkillkill thing) but on the whole I’ve been happier.

Well recently over here in the UK there was a strike by journalists at the BBC. As I pretty much will only watch or listen to BBC news this meant I didn’t get any news beyond the basic headlines for a day. Instead the corporation put on repeats of comedies or documentaries and interviews. And do you know what? That day I was happier. Not by a little bit, but by a lot.

I realised that just as in SL, all the shouting and arguing that went on in the world, all the shit I have zero control over, was just eating away at my soul. I didn’t even notice, it just slowly happened. So I’ve stopped. And I’m not going back.

Sure, I still like to know what’s going on in the world – it’s handy to know that there’s a big cold front heading our way. It’s sensible to know that Korea might start lobbing nukes about. It’s my duty to know that a small boy so terribly let down by our social care system will lead to lessons being learnt. But what can I do about them? I can’t stop the weather being such a bastard, I certainly can’t influence North Korea to stop behaving like dicks and I can’t build a time machine and go back to save Peter Connelly (although I fucking well wish I could). The facts remain that the weather is shit, North Korea could start WW3 and even thinking about Baby P makes me cry*.

In the end, all that an overload of news gives me is a terrible sense of fear and inadequacy. Fuck that. In exactly the same way I don’t read Prok as it made me start to hate SL, I’m cutting the news down to a bare minimum so I stop hating RL. And do you know what?

It’s working.

* I can’t help it – I just think of how small and vulnerable my boy was at that age… fucking animals.

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6 comments

  1. I limit my exposure to news; the big things, I hear about, and the rantings I can live without. We all have our views, and would like to see the world and people be more like our ideals, but wallowing in bad news does not help me to send out positive thoughts, words and deeds. I agree … there is nothing I can do about these larger things, except to fear or mourn. I can only control my own life and I can do that better without feeling the Sword of Damocles over me every single minute of every single day.

  2. I gave up TV news some time ago, other than watching with horrified fascination when big snowstorms (or similar weather-related disasterns) are in the air, but continued to read the Washington Post daily. I would get angry – not so much at the news itself, which was depressing enough, but at their coverage of the news, which was downright offensive at times – until I canceled every day but Sunday (and turned down several offers to get additional days at low or no cost). As you’ve found, I missed being as well-informed as I used to be, particularly some of the smaller stories, but I gained a fair amount of piece of mind.

    I also found that it’s possible to strike something of a happy medium: I get local news from a small weekly paper, I get national and world news from the Aetherwebs, and I get a smattering of stories from the free tabloid available at the train station. Less stress at a lower cost – no wonder traditional newspapers are in financial trouble!

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