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:
And I realized it’s a really good question: Why do we follow the news?
Here are my questions:
- Do you follow the news?
- If you don’t, why don’t you? Did you make a conscious decision not to, or does it not interest you?
- How do you feel about NOT following the news, if you don’t?
- If you do follow the news, have you wondered why?
- What would you say you get out of the news?
- 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.