Staying Informed Without the News
Taking responsibility for how you receive information
I wrote an article a while ago about staying away from the news media if you want a happier life. If you haven't read it, you should here. This is like a sequel to that article and I hope you learn something significant from it.
If I stop watching the news, how would I be informed? How would I know what is going on? How do I keep tabs with things I care about? Well, this is what this article is all about. First, there are many things that you care about that you really shouldn’t care about. Maybe I should rephrase; there are many things you worry about that you should not be concerned about. Here is a question I ask my parents often; now that you know about it, what can you do about it? Their best answer is prayer. If random stuff made to look disturbing is what is fueling your prayers, you can be sure that the prayers are not productive. I get amused when I see people on social media praying for communities or people after a tragedy has befallen them. The essence of prayer is to avert such events, but nobody prays before it happens. After it happens, ‘pray for xyz' begins to trend. SMH
I believe you don’t get to know things that really pertain to you from the news media (for the first time). The reality is that you know or at least have an idea before it gets on the news. If you are hearing it for the first time on the news, it doesn’t really concern you.
Here is a list of alternatives to watching the news. They’ll help you stay passionate, relevant and informed taking out 90% of the junk associated with the news media.
1. Watch Sports!
My favorite is football also known as soccer. You can even go further to becoming a consistent supporter of a team. Now, I understand that there is a news media system in sports also. But it is not as vile as politics, so it is healthy. Also, listening to TV people talk about sports or analyze sports is something I consider unwise. Why will you sit with sports analysis when it’s not like you’re planning to become a sports manager or a player? The point here is to enjoy the game. Find sports and games to watch and enjoy. The more you develop your interest in them, the more they become interesting to you. That’s very much better than information about the latest politician playing games with social development
2. Listen to the big players on Twitter
Recently, I have cut the middlemen when listening to what I want to know on the news. Instead of listening to a report, I listen to what the very person says. This is so powerful.
For example, try reading what Mr. Trump writes on twitter before watching the news channel talk about what he said. You’ll see what I’m saying
This is so real today. The majority of the newsmakers around the world are active on Twitter. Since the media wants to tell you what they are doing or saying, it’s better to hear them from their own mouths. You would find a lot of big names on issues you are interested in, writing newsworthy things via their twitter account. So, cut the middlemen! If you have concerns that they might ruin your timeline, then create a list. A list is a twitter function that enables you to keep in touch with the tweets of certain accounts (that you have added on the list). Each list has a timeline of its own. You can have more than one list. I have 5 lists.
3. Watch short videos on YouTube or other platforms
Sometimes there are things you just need to see on the news. Instead of tuning in and get fed with junks sandwiched into what you really wanted to listen to, you can take this option. If you use cable TV and can record, just record what you deem important that you can to watch later. If you have to watch it live and it is reported, it’s probably fancy junk. Another option is to watch the video on YouTube or other serious video sharing platforms online. I like the interviews where a well informed, sound and responsible individual gets to interview someone holding a major position. For that, I refer to the specific videos.
4. Be a newsmaker
Don’t be a spectator in life. Be a part of making something good happen. Have a responsibility. This is more than having a job; it’s about having a life’s work. Without it, one will just be a dumping ground for all kinds of ideas. Without it, other people will thrive on giving you false hope and dashing your “hope” against the wall. Each person in the world needs a responsibility to pour their passion into. This will take away the need and desire to be worried about the government and other related things. This means you become someone that really has the capacity to change things. Join a group, start a club, join an association, etc. Be involved in doing something to become a decision-maker (no matter how small a decision-maker) in the things you truly care about.
5. Have sincere conversations with friends and groups
Instead of watching the news, I prefer a friend just give me a 2 sentence summary. The media does not deserve that much of my time (to give me worries about things I cannot change). The general public is a professional world when it comes to inaction. Some would like to take action but most are being discouraged by the same information that tells them about the problem. So, a 2 sentence summary from a friend who is closer to the source of information is much better. Also, a conversation among friends where you can ask questions and keep the information productive is very good. And also platforms like Medium where real people simplify these noisy situations helps a lot. The point here is that real people trumps paid professionals when it comes to knowing what is really happening in the society.
These listed above will help you get started in making your life happier by avoiding the news media junk.
Do you know other ways to escape the news media junk and stay informed, relevant and passionate? Do share yours!