As they say, the medium is the message, and the 24-hour breaking news cycle may be degrading your mind and your life. Via the Guardian, Rolf Dobelli argues thus:
News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply.
News misleads. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated.
News works like a drug. As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus. The physical structure of the brain changes.
News makes us passive. News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic.
News has no explanatory power. News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists’ radar but have a transforming effect.
News kills creativity. I don’t know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news like drugs.
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