Question of the Day: Do you follow the news?

At different times in my life, I’ve taken a sabbatical from the news.  I don’t listen to NPR; I don’t watch any news shows, including the “comedy” ones like the Daily Show; I’ve even been known to take lengthy breaks from facebook.  As someone vulnerable to depression, there are times I honestly can’t take it – I feel too vulnerable to the bad news bombarding us, and I feel too helpless to do anything that will make a difference, and I feel as a person of faith I should care, but I just don’t have it in me.  But then comes the pressure of obligation, especially as a pastor:  Shouldn’t I know what’s going on in the world?  Even if most of it is bad?  But then, didn’t Jesus just deal with what was right in front of him?

I heard this podcast from Freakonomics:

http://freakonomics.com/2015/08/05/why-do-we-really-follow-the-news-a-new-freakonomics-radio-episode/

And I realized it’s a really good question:  Why do we follow the news?

Here are my questions:

  1. Do you follow the news?
  2. If you don’t, why don’t you?  Did you make a conscious decision not to, or does it not interest you?
  3. How do you feel about NOT following the news, if you don’t?
  4. If you do follow the news, have you wondered why?
  5. What would you say you get out of the news?
  6. What do you do with the news you hear?

I’m very curious about what you will say!

Next post:  What Margaret Heffernan, author of “Willful Blindness: Why we ignore the obvious at our peril,” has to say about our limited brains, and how that might affect our interactions with the news.

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2 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Do you follow the news?

  1. I had to make a conscious decision to not watch or read any news. Due to the fact that I suffer from depression, it also makes me feel extremely helpless. I doubt quite a bit of what is reported and wonder why local news focuses on shootings, home invasions, car accidents, and house fires. It creates paranoia in me. How do I feel about not following the news? A little bit like an ostrich but I’m okay with that. If people are discussing current events they seem to only want their opinions heard and not engage in a civil conversation….learning something in the process. I believe there is more good in this world than bad and I’m tired of hearing only the bad.

  2. I follow the political news, but purposely tune out anything to do with abuse, child neglect, murders, or any focus on human suffering. It doesn’t make me any wiser, and I don’t see the point of seeing others in pain or grieving.

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