Most of the time, I use the word “hate” loosely, but in this case, it’s intentional. I hate the news.
Disclaimer: If this hits home with you, please don’t take it as a criticism of you. It is a criticism of the news outlets and a plea for you to consider what you’re letting in your mind.
It is Not News
The news is not news. The news outlets aren’t reporting things for us to be informed about. They report extremes. They sensationalize the stories to get people emotional and, ultimately, get ratings.
The news outlets tell you that you have to keep watching so that you stay informed, and they imply that their program is the only way to stay informed. Isn’t it interesting that the company whose show you watch makes money, then turns around and gives you a reason to continue to watch them?
I would guess that I have personally watched less than one hour of news in the past two years. Yet, I’ve not missed a major story. You don’t have to watch the news to be informed. There are many ways to stay informed. The news isn’t one of them.
It’s Never Black and White
The news outlets want you to believe that every story is black and white. In reality, none of them are. Pick one story you’ve been engrossed in the past few weeks and stop and really think about the story. Is it truly black and white? Or are there many different opinions and ways to look at the story?
There are seldom, if ever, absolute rights or wrongs when it comes to social issues. There are only compromises. If the answer is so black and white, why are there always two ends of the spectrum arguing their points? (Do you think the other extreme is always wrong?)
It is Negative
News outlets rarely report on anything positive. There isn’t enough sensationalism in positive news, and there isn’t as much discussion and debate about positive news. Therefore, the ratings aren’t there.
If you consistently watch the news, and if the news is overwhelmingly negative, what are you consistently putting into your mind? What we watch, what we listen to, and what we read define who we are. Are you ok with what you are currently watching, listening to, and reading defining who you are? Or should you consider putting different things into your mind?
A Different Approach
Typically, the people that I talk to that watch the news are very cynical and jaded about our country, how bad we have it, and about people in general. I hear things like, “This country just isn’t like it used to be”, “This is going to be the end of America”, etc. People that watch the news take the characteristics of the “bad guy” or the group of people being covered, and assume that every other person is like the “bad guy”.
I would suggest a different approach that is more in line with Philippians 4:8 (I’ll leave it for you to look it up). Find things to watch, listen to, and read that fit into those categories – things that aren’t covered on the news. I wonder if it will change the outlook about our country, how bad we have it, and people in general.
Then, when something of significance happens, instead of turning to the news and assuming they are giving you the truth about everything, do your own research. Look up different sides of the story. Use your own brain. Come up with your own opinion. If you do, I’ll bet you find yourself somewhere in the middle instead at one of the black and white extremes.
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